Celebrated to mark the last day before the beginning of the fasting of the Lenten season, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras is celebrated 47 days before Easter and a day before Ash Wednesday. This is the last day to have fatty-rich food before going into Lent.
Why Fat Tuesday?
12 days after Christmas, the Carnival season kicks in. Starting on January 6th, the Carnival winds up on Tuesday, March 5th- the evening before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, a period of 46 days, in which people fast, pray and confess their sins to get freed. It is a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus did after his baptism. The Lenten period ends with Easter.
Fat Tuesday is celebrated to mark the Carnival ending by consuming rich and fatty foods like cakes, meat, pancakes, and buttery things as these are forbidden during the fast.
New Orleans is considered the Carnival Capital of the country. The place is famous for its parades and foods. Some are also fond of its flashers that are women without tops. This trend is seen since 1889. There is also a tradition in New Orleans where women would bear their breasts and receive beads and trinkets.
How Can We Observe Fat Tuesday:
Let’s get started with some of the best ways to celebrate Mardi Gras!
- This is the best time to plan a small trip to New Orleans if you’re not a resident. The colors, the masks, the food, or the flashers, nothing will disappoint you; I can bet on this!
- Or, you can visit the place where it all started. Visit Alabama, and celebrate Madri Gras with a French twist.
- Celebrate your Tuesday with Pancakes! What can be a better way to drain your supplies of eggs and fat. Switch your Tacos with pancakes and maple syrup. There can’t be a better feast before fast!
- Make your Tuesday a family baking day and bake the traditional King Cake. Embellish it with lots of glaze and frosting. Don’t forget to stuff the baby Jesus in it!
- Craft out some masks to raid the parades! Use feathers, beads, and your favorite embellishments. You can even have a contest among your friends and family. The best one wins the biggest cake slice!
- Decorate the dinner table using traditionally colored papers and decoration pieces. You can also hand out beaded necklaces to your family members to wear when they come over for dinner.
- Or, if you want to keep it lowkey, just step out and enjoy the carnival! Celebrate your last feast with some delicious street food, lots of music, and fun!
- Spread the fun and happiness everywhere by using hashtags like #FatTuesday, #MardiGras, #FeastBeforeFast, and #LastFeast on your social media handles.
Interesting Facts About Fat Tuesday:
Let us embellish our minds with some shining bead-like facts about Fat Tuesdays.
- The first Mardi Gras took place in Alabama and not in New Orleans, which is considered to hold the best Carnivals and Parades in the Country.
- Gold, Purple, and Green are considered the traditional colors for taking up festivities. This practice came into existence in 1872 when Grand Duke Alexis attended the Carnival as these are the colors of his home. Later on, the colors gained respective meanings- purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith.
- The King Cake is a traditional cake that is a compulsory dessert for celebrations. It is made in the traditional purple, green, and gold colors with a lot of glaze and frosting. This King Cake is said to have Biblical Roots. The cake is made with a baby toy inside it. Traditionally, whosoever gets the toy hosts the next party.
- The Parades are carried out by secret societies known as “Krewes” in New Orleans. Currently, more than 70 secret societies are taking up the festivities.
- Wearing masks is illegal in New Orleans except if it’s Mardi Gras.
- Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.
- If you want to receive a throw, say “throw me something mister,” and you get a gift from the Krewe!
History Of Fat Tuesday:
Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday dates back to 1699. The existence of this day is said to have taken place because of a French-Canadian explorer by the name of Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. He arrived at a city which is now known as Mobile in Alabama on Fat Tuesday in 1699. He named the location Point du Mardi Gras and threw a gala of his own. Since then, the place is a hotspot for French travelers on Fat Tuesdays.