Today is Ash Wednesday, the day after Fat Tuesday and the beginning of Lent. In my old neighborhood, I'd be reminded it was Ash Wednesday by children trooping out of the church with smudges on their foreheads.
ASH WEDNESDAY the seventh Wednesday before Easter
Genesis 3:19 “Remember, man, dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Latin: Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.)
LENT 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, excluding Sunday
ideally, you'd fast the way Jesus did in the wilderness
but most devout Christians simply skip meat (carnival, as in goodbye to meat)