What is Fat Tuesday?

Here’s what you need to know about the celebrations and traditions of Fat Tuesday.

It’s time for Mardi Gras.

On Tuesday, the Carnival season will come to a close with colourful parades, glitzy beads, and people wearing masks.

Mardi Gras is a holiday that is celebrated all over the world. It has its roots in Christian customs. In the United States, the biggest parties are in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras is a big part of the culture.

After being put on hold because of the pandemic in 2021, the world-famous yearly parades of the city were back in full motion for the second year in a row in 2022. A study by WalletHub says that more than 1 million people have come to the city for Mardi Gras.

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When is Mardi Gras?

“Fat Tuesday,” which is what Mardi Gras is called in French, is on February 21. The next day is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Christian Lent, a time of fasting and abstinence that leads up to the Easter holiday. Britannica.com says that the name “Fat Tuesday” comes from the tradition of eating all the fats in the house before the start of Lent.

The most well-known Mardi Gras party in the U.S. is in New Orleans. The Mardi Gras New Orleans website says that events have been going on since Twelfth Night, which is January 6, which is the official start of Carnival season.

On Tuesday, bands will play and floats put together by local social clubs (called “krewes”) will parade through the streets of the city. A tradition that began in the 1870s is that people on floats throw small items to the crowds. Beads, cups, coins, and stuffed animals are all common “throws.”

Krewes plan and put on their own parades. The historic Rex krewe, which was started in New Orleans in 1872 and is one of the oldest Mardi Gras clubs there, puts on one of the most popular parades, the Rex (King) Parade.

According to the Mardi Gras New Orleans website, the official colours of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. These colours came about because of the Rex Krewe. Hundreds of riders and the “Rex,” or king of the krewe, are in the Rex Parade.

The city’s Mardi Gras website says that each year, a new king is chosen to lead the parades. The identity of the new king is kept secret until Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras. Most of the time, Rex is a leader in the city.

When is Mardi Gras? Where does it happen?

Mobile, Alabama, according to the Mardi Gras New Orleans website, was the first city in the modern United States to celebrate Mardi Gras in 1703.

Other important Mardi Gras events in the United States are:

Louisiana’s Baton Rouge
Coastal Mississippi
Galveston, TX
Pensacola, Florida
San Diego, California
St. Louis, Missouri

What is a King Cake?

The King Cake is also called the Twelfth Day Cake because it is eaten on Epiphany, which is a Christian holiday that remembers when the Magi came to see Jesus 12 days after Christmas.

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum says that the special cake is eaten all through Carnival season. A small plastic or porcelain baby figurine is usually baked into the cake. The tradition says that the person who finds the trinket in their piece of King Cake has to host the next King Cake party.


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