Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is also called Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. This is a carnival celebration that marks the beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany.  Mardi Gras is a French word for Fat Tuesday, and it reflects the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual of Lenten sacrifices and fasting of the Lenten season.


History
History says that Mardi Gras is linked with ancient Roman pagan celebrations of spring and fertility such as Saturnalia which dates back to 133-31 BC. This celebration was done to honor the God of agriculture, Saturn. This is observed in mid-December, before winter crops sowing.  It was a one-week-long festival during which both business and work came to halt.
The Julian calendar denotes that Romans was used at the time and the winter solstice falls on December 25. So this celebration gradually became associated with Christmas.

Traditions
This festival season varies from one city to another and in some places, the traditions in New Orleans, Louisiana, refer to this Mardi Gras as a stretch of the entire period from Twelfth night which is the last night of Christmas which begins Epiphany to Ash Wednesday. 
Other people treat three days before Ash Wednesday as Mardi Gras. In Alabama, Mardi Gras is associated with social events begin in November which is followed by Mystic society balls on Thanksgiving.  
Then comes the New Year's Eve that is followed by parades and balls in January and February and celebrating it until midnight before Ash Wednesday. In ancient times, parades were held on New Year's day and Carnival is one of the most important celebrations in Catholic and Angelica European nations.
Some facts about this Mardi Gras festival are
Many countries across the world celebrate this Mardi Gras as the last day of the Carnival season, which starts after Christmas, on Jan 6th. 
This day is also called Pancake day because some countries like England, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and New Zealand celebrate this Mardi Gras by eating pancakes and participating in activities based on the Pancake theme.
During this season, King's cake is eaten throughout the world during the Carnival season. In the US, the cake is purple, green, and gold and it has a trinket baby Jesus inside, and whoever gets the baby Jesus is believed to have good luck throughout the year.
Krewes is an organization that arranges a parade for Mardi Gras. They are a kind of club whose due ranges from $20 thousand annually. This organization is responsible for selecting the carnival royalty in New Orleans.
Masks are a must. It is illegal to ride on a float during this festival without a mask. The main purpose of wearing a mask is to eliminate the social constraints for the day and promotes people to mingle with whomever they want.
Mardi Gras has different names in different countries. In the Czech Republic, there is a folk tradition to celebrate Mardi Gras and it is called Masopust. In Germany, this celebration is called in different names, like Fetter Donnerstag, Greensentag, Weiberfastnacht, Unsinniger Donnerstag, and others. In Italy, the Mardi Gras festival is called Martedi Grasso which means Fat Tuesday and in Italy, the carnivals are celebrated in Venice, Ivrea, and Viareggio. In Sweden, Mardi Gras is known Fettisdagen and finally, in the US, this festival is not observed throughout the country and This festival arrived in North America as a French Catholic tradition.
Talking about costumes, most people wear masks and some kind of costumes. In New Orleans, people take the shape of animals, fairies, or Medieval costumes. 
Final words

This was all about the Mardi Gras festival. We hope you found this article useful and also share your views about this article in the comment section.

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