One of the best places for finding out information on all the above is fisheaters.com. You can even find out about pre-Vatican II classifications (if you think the CURRENT classifications are hard, you shoulda seen what came before).
Here’s the page that talks about feasts and the liturgical year that answers the first part of your question (Scroll down a bit and you’ll see where it talks about descending order, etc.) fisheaters.com/time.html
And this section on fasting and abstinence answers the other question about when one can eat meat on a Friday. fisheaters.com/fasting.html
In the first link I think it also mentions where one can find a calendar that would give you the feast days etc. and they usually note whether it is an optional feast, whether it is a memorial or a solemnity, etc. Once you’ve read the links it will all make more sense.
The short answer, ranking celebrations from highest to lowest:
*]Feast of the Lord
(A Feast of the Lord is kind of a hybrid. It ordinarily is celebrated like a Feast, but if it falls on Sunday it is celebrated like a Solemnity)
The easiest thing I do is get a parish from our church each year. The days are marked with the liturgical color and the various feasts, solemnities, and Holy Days f Obligation are marked in different typeface. It even has a little fish icon on the days we should abstain.
If your parish does not give out calendars like that, perhaps a nearby one does or you can order one from an online Catholic store. I actually have 3 different ones this year!
Did you leave a word out? I think you meant parish calendar? I don’t know if my parish has one, but I’ll ask!
Interestingly, today at mass they said it was the “Feast of st. Appolinarius”… but I after reading this thread I happen to know that today is actually not a feast day, but rather a memorial! Is it normal to call memorial days “feast days”? I’ve heard/seen that at other parishes too.
The word *feast *has both a technical definition (a liturgical celebration of a particular rank), and a mundane definition (an occasion to be celebrated). Knowing which definition is meant in a particular context is not always easy. Sometimes Solemnities are also referred to by this mundane use of feast.