Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation. It is, however, a day of Fast and Abstinence.
Remember, the laws of Fast and Abstinence apply for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The practice of Abstinence applies to all the Fridays of Lent. To refresh your memory, they are as follows:
Fast: Allows for only one full meal to be taken during the day. Two smaller meals are permitted, if necessary, to maintain strength according to one’s needs. The two smaller meals, combined, should not equal the one full meal taken that day. Eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. Fasting is to be observed by all Catholics who are 18 years of age through to those who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. [Medical conditions may make it impossible to fast. The Church has never held its people to the impossible. If you have a condition that prohibits you from fasting, you are not obliged to do so.]
Abstinence: The practice of refraining from meat and meat products. Abstinence is to be practiced by all who are 14 years of age and older.
Ash Wednesday is a Day of Fast and Abstinence
Fridays of Lent are Days of Abstinence
Good Friday is a Day of Fast and Abstinence