Amazing Mardi Gras Facts! Did You Know...

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

February 28, 2017

Mardi Gras (meaning, "Fat Tuesday") is Tuesday, February 28th.  Some of these facts you might know ... others might be new to you.

Mardi Gras is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the 40-day fasting before Easter Week.

Mardi Gras itself is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.

Many countries celebrate Mardi Gras as the last day of the Carnival season.

A French Cajun phrase for Mardi Gras is ‘Laissez les bons temps rouler', which means ‘Let the good times roll'.

Some countries celebrate Mardi Gras as ‘Pancake Day', and indulge in eating pancakes. Ireland, Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand celebrate Pancake Day.

Purple, gold and green and the official colors of Mardi Gras. Purple is meant to signify justice, gold is meant to signify power and green signifies faith.

-The first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans took place in 1837.

-New Orleans is not the "official" home of Mardi Gras.  Nor is Rio de Janeiro.  As a holiday that belongs to everyone, no one city can claim to be the official home.

-Rio de Janeiro hosts one of the world's largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the world.

-The first floats in the parades in New Orleans Mardi Gras appeared in 1857.

-The clubs that hold parades or balls at Mardi Gras are called Krewes.  Some are notoriously difficult to get into.

-The first American city to hold a parade for Mardi Gras was Mobile, Alabama.

-One of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations in the U.S. is held in Galveston, Texas.

-In 1875 Louisiana named Mardi Gras a state holiday. The day is also a state holiday in Alabama and Florida.

-It is illegal to ride a Mardi Gras float in New Orleans if you're not wearing a mask! This law came into effect to allow people to associate with anyone they wanted to, without social barriers.