“Mardi Gras” – the French term for Fat Tuesday – is on February 21 this year. This day is celebrated with different parades and feasts before the start of the fasting season of Lent.
In some other parts of the world, people also call Fat Tuesday as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. Mardi Gras is a term that represents carnival festivals in New Orleans, Venice, along with a lot of Roman Catholics who similarly celebrate this holiday.
Mardi Gras is a long-lasting tradition that was originally rooted in the pagan celebrations of the arrival of spring and fertility. As time goes on, the heritage of Lent, Carnival and Fat Tuesday steadily connect into regional customs.
The history of this holiday can be dated back to ancient Roman times when people celebrate the harvest season. Christianity incorporated the popular local traditions into some types of a new faith. This is the last indulgent time before the 40-day period of Lent.
Fat Tuesday was first celebrated in America when the French explorers arrived on land close to present-day New Orleans, Louisiana. Afterward, the French colonists introduced this holiday by having street parties and lavish dinners that were organized by social clubs called “Krewes”.
Today, this pre-lenten festival takes place all around the world, incorporating various native cultures, traditions and new styles. Some significant events include Rio’s week-long Carnival festivals, Quebec’s Winter Carnival and a lot more.
Of course, we can’t miss the most fun part of this period of festivals: parades, dress-ups, costume balls, delicious food, and women cutting off men’s ties to represent women’s power.
These feasts will lead to a period of reflection and fasting, which is known as Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
Therefore, take advantage of today to enjoy this week-long festivities around the globe and hopefully, have a lot of fun. You can also bring some similar activities home and celebrate with your friends or family members.