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Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday and also popular social phenomenon that dates ago thousands of year to pagan spring and also fertility rites. Likewise known as Carnival or Carnaval, it’s celebrated in many countries around the world—mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations—on the day prior to the religious season of Lent begins. Brazil, Venice and brand-new Orleans play hold to some of the holiday’s most famous public festivities, drawing thousands that tourists and revelers every year.

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When is Mardi Gras? 

Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated on “Fat Tuesday,” the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and also the start of Lent.  In countless areas, however, Mardi Gras has progressed into a week-long festival. 


Mardi Gras 2022 will autumn on Tuesday, march 1. Adhering to two year of cancelled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrations in brand-new Orleans are scheduled to continue in 2022.

What Is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is a heritage that dates earlier thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and also fertility, consisting of the raucous roman festivals the Saturnalia and also Lupercalia.

When Christianity arrived in Rome, spiritual leaders made decision to incorporate these renowned local traditions right into the brand-new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery the the Mardi Gras season came to be a prelude to Lent, the 40 job of fasting and also penance in between Ash Wednesday and also Easter Sunday.


Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, consisting of France, Germany, Spain and England.

What go Mardi Gras Mean?

Mardi is the French word for Tuesday, and gras means “fat.” In France, the day prior to Ash Wednesday came to be known together Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.”

Traditionally, in the job leading approximately Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the rich, fatty foods—meat, eggs, milk, lard and also cheese—that remained in your homes, in anticipation of several weeks of eating only fish and also different types of fasting.


The native carnival, another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities, also derives indigenous this feasting tradition: in middle ages Latin, carnelevarium way to take away or eliminate meat, native the Latin carnem for meat.

READ MORE: Where to be the an initial Mardi Gras?


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Children celebrating Mardi Gras in brand-new Orleans, Louisiana.

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The carnival in Switzerland is called Fasnacht.

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The cake celebrate the Maji who visited Christ throughout the Epiphany.

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An oil painting from 1839 through Aleksandr-Petrovic Mjasoedo of roman celebrations.

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Part the the Carnival celebrations in Venice, Italy.

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The Zulu Crewe prides chin on having the finest brass marching band in the new Orleans Mardi Gras parade.

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A parade automobile from the samba college Grande Rio is being prepared in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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A carnival-witch the the "Offenburger Hexenzunft" throws black color sausages into the crowds native a balcony in Offenburg.

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Peliqueiros, or ancient tax collectors, go after villagers through the roadways ringing your cowbells and hitting villagers v their sticks.

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The wild celebrations of Carnival finish at Ash Wednesday, the begining the the divine Lent season in Christianity. Paint by Workshop of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

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A carnival mask on display in Venice, Italy.

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19th Century neck Vase Illustration that Dionysus and also Three numbers

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Bacchus is the God of wine in roman Mythology. A festive holiday in Rome was called Bacchanalia.

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Mardi Gras and Carnival