Restaurants Prepare For Confluence Of Meatless Ash Wednesday And Indulgent Valentine's Day


For Roman Catholics, Valentine's Day is a little more complicated this year.

The secular holiday of love — which emerged out of the commemoration of the Christian St. Valentine of Rome — overlaps with the religious holiday of Ash Wednesday this year. The first day of the Lenten season, Christians sacrifice a vice like chocolate, soda or alcohol to prepare for Easter and the resurrection of Christ.

Roman Catholics also abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays from now until Easter on April 1.

The Chicago Archdiocese said Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, would have been an appropriate day to celebrate. The Archdiocese has given dispensation to Catholics in the past when St. Patrick's Day has overlapped with a Lenten Friday. Irish Americans eat the traditional corned beef and cabbage on that day. But the church views Ash Wednesday as a obligation to fast.

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