There will be lots of orders for the fish sandwich at McDonald's today. And fish frying at area restaurants and cheese enchiladas or fish sticks on the dinner table at home.

If you think there's something fishy going on — you're right.

Many Christians, primarily Catholics, abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. And the main course of choice is often a fish dish. 

That’s not fasting, which refers to restricting how much, or how little, food eaten. Abstinence is the avoidance of certain foods, voluntarily giving up something enjoyable — like meat — and is for spiritual benefit.

Before the Second Vatican Council, which updated Catholic doctrine in the early 1960s, Catholics were required to abstain from meat every Friday, as penance in honor of the death of Jesus on Good Friday.