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Ash Wednesday is a holy day of prayer and fasting in many Western Christian denominations. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and marks the first day of Lent, the six weeks of penitence before Easter.
Ash Wednesday is observed by Catholics, Lutherans, Moravians, Anglicans, Methodists, Nazarenes, as well as by some churches in the Reformed tradition, including certain Congregationalist, Continental Reformed, and Presbyterian churches.
Ash Wednesday is traditionally observed with fasting and abstinence from meat in several Christian denominations. As it is the first day of Lent, many Christians begin Ash Wednesday by marking a Lenten calendar, praying a Lenten daily devotional, and making a Lenten sacrifice that they will not partake of until the arrival of Eastertide.