What IS Fat Tuesday?

Today is the date: Mardi Gras 2012!

Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday”, is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

While we love ANY excuse to go out and party on a Tuesday, here is a little bit of information on the New Orleans holiday known as “Fat Tuesday,” “Shrove Tuesday” or Mardi Gras… if you don’t know much about the holiday, the following information might just catch you off guard!

The terms “Mardi Gras” in English, refers to events of the “Carnival” celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the tradition of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday; in English the day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning “confess.”

Most all of the traditions from Mardi Gras are associated with it being just before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the season of Lent. Popular traditions (which we’re sure you already know) include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc.

Now, would you have guessed that Mardi Gras (or Pardi Gras as many call it in Fort Collins) was developed as a result of Lent?

At any rate, Happy Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Pardi Gras- which ever you find the most suitable to your day today!