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Let’s Learn About the History of Mardi Gras

Let’s Learn About the History of Mardi Gras

Let’s kick back, let loose, and celebrate this Mardi Gras.

Today is Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras refers to the events of the celebration that begins after the Christian feasts of Epiphany and ends on the day before Ash Wednesday.  Interestingly, this celebration is always held exactly 47 days before Easter.

Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday,” gets its name from the tradition of eating decadent and fatty foods before the ritual fasting of Lent commences. Today, Mardi Gras is celebrated in many countries around the world and carries many different names.  In addition to Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, and Carnival just to name a few.

While Mardi Gras is not celebrated throughout the U.S., it is a major event in a number of traditionally ethnic French cities and regions.  For instance, most Americans associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, Louisiana.  In the U.S., Mardi Gras has been largely stripped of its religious roots.  Today, Mardi Gras is more about parades and celebrations and has become an annual event that nearly all residents (even those without French or Catholic heritage) have embraced.

In New Orleans, Mardi Gras is celebrated with huge parades, costumes and masks, delicious food, and (in some parts of the city) considerable drinking.

Having attended Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I can speak to the decadence and the indulgences that I witnessed.  The parades are organized by groups known as krewes.  This is the term for New Orleans clubs and was coined by The Mystick Krewe of Comus, the group that put on the first parade in the city with themed floats, the prototype for all future parades and began in 1857.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will join us as we celebrate this Mardi Gras. Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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