Mardi Gras (Carnival) Around the World
When you think of Mardi Gras in the United States, you’re likely to think of New Orleans, and the epic celebrations that lead up to today, Fat Tuesday. While it’s the most famous celebration in the U.S., there are also fairly large Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile and St. Louis as well.
Many people don’t realize that there are Mardi Gras celebrations all over the world though, and they go by many names. We’ll refer to wikipedia for the details.
Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday and Carnival season refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Epiphany or Kings day and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. The day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning “confess.”
Mardi Gras is celebrated in many cities with large Catholic populations, however in most countries it is called Carnival.
Folk etymologies exist which state that the word Carnival comes from the Late Latin expression carne vale, which means “farewell to meat”, signifying that those were the last days when one could eat meat before the fasting of Lent.
The largest Carnival celebration in the world is pictured above, in Brazil. So now that you know what the hell Mardi Gras and Carnival are, take a tour around the world to see how it is celebrated in other countries…