Mardi Gras Time

Ricky Clements, Staff Writer

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Mardi Gras, the holiday that originated in France, arrived in North America as a French Catholic tradition and now is celebrated by the French cities, but mainly by New Orleans now, has been celebrated since 1856. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to the events of the carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of Three Kings Day and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras happens to be French for Fat Tuesday, reflecting on the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.
The term “Mardi Gras” has come to mean the whole period of activity related to the celebratory events beyond just the single day in many areas. New Orleans, Louisiana has always been associated with the term Mardi Gras and with good reason, too. New Orleans has one of the largest celebrations for Mardi Gras in the world. Mardi Gras has been celebrated in New Orleans since 1837 when the first parade was held over 180 years. Mardi Gras also has other traditions that are not very well known, like King Cakes, which are cakes with a little fake baby baked inside, and flambeaux, which involves a bunch of people holding flaming torches in the parades.
This year Mardi Gras happens to fall on the last day of the month, February 28. When one thinks of Mardi Gras, one thing that comes to mind are the iconic beads. Each year millions of beads are tossed into the crowd from people who are either a part of the krewe or a parade participator. Krewes are an organization or association that stages a parade or other event for a carnival celebration, and are associated especially with Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

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Mardi Gras Time