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You Can Not Resist Carnival

Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday”, is traditionally a festive day celebrated in France on Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday), which marks the close of the pre-Lenten season. 

Lent, in the Christian church, is a period of penitential preparation for Easter. In Western churches, it begins on Ash Wednesday, six and a half weeks before Easter, and provides a 40-day period for fasting and abstinence (Sundays are excluded), in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry.

The French name Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, from the custom of using all the fats in the home before Lent in preparation for fasting and abstinence. 

Outside of the United States, the merrymaking and festivity that takes place in many Roman Catholic countries in the last days and hours before the Lenten season, is referred to as Carnival.

In the United States the principal Carnival celebration is in New Orleans, Louisiana with Galveston, Texas coming in as a very close second. The Carnival season in NOLA opens on Twelfth Night (Epiphany, January 6) and climaxes with the Mardi Gras festivities commencing 10 days before Shrove Tuesday. 

This period in Galveston is filled with elaborate revelrous parades, both day and night, building up to Mardi Gras and the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade. Beads of yellow, gold, green, and purple are commonly distributed, and the eating of king cake is an iconic part of the celebration.

Petruzzello, Melissa. “Mardi Gras.” Britannica, 23 October 2023,


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