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Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also called "Shrove Tuesday" or Carnival ("car-nee-VAHL" elsewhere but in New Orleans "CAR-na-val"). It is a celebration that is held just before the beginning of the Christian liturgical season of Lent.



The date can vary from early February to as late as the second week in March. Like Lent, the date is dependent on that of Easter.

Mardi Gras falls on the following dates in the following years:


The place most commonly associated with Mardi Gras is New Orleans, Louisiana. The city's celebrations have become legendary.

Carnival's most famous city is Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Like Rio, many other cities in Iberian and Ibero-American cultures have very important Carnival celebrations. In Brazil, also famous are the Carnival celebrations in Recife, Olinda, Salvador among others. Please list some.

Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the what may be the longest continuously observed Mardi Gras celebration in the United States, and still celebrates it each year. The Mobile Mardi Gras season is always concluded by the Order of Myths parade, produced by the society of the same name. This is a special honor, because the 'double-O M's' are the oldest continuous Mardi Gras society in America. One unique aspect of the Mobile celebrations is the use of Moon Pies, a sweet baked good that combines a graham cracker like crust with marshmallow, and is then covered in a flavored frosting.

New Orleans

Costumed musicians, French Quarter, New Orleans
Costumed musicians, French Quarter, New Orleans

New Orleans Mardi Gras is particularly well-known. The celebrations draw many tourists to the city in addition to the celebrating locals for the parties and parades. New Orleans traditions include Krewes such as the Krewe du Vieux, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, and the famous Rex parade, in addition to Mardi Gras Indians and king cake parties.

Main article: New Orleans Mardi Gras

Elsewhere in Louisiana

Other places in the Greater New Orleans Metro Area also have celebrations, notably the suburb of Metarie, Louisiana has large parades. Without the restrictions on commercial ties to parades of Orleans Parish, there is much advertising and trademark placements on the parades there.

In parts of the Cajun country of South-West Louisiana the traditional Corrir du Mardi Gras is still run, sometimes by maskers on horseback who gather ingredients for making the communal meal.


The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia, is a well-known pride parade.

Mardi Gras is the title of a 1972 album by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Last updated: 11-08-2004 11:00:38