Fat Tuesday is approaching which means Ash Wednesday is the next day and marks the start of Lent and the Lenten season continues until Easter Sunday.
You have heard of Mardi Gras and the mass partying that goes on in New Orleans, Louisiana but what exactly is Mardi Gras? Fortunately, there is an interesting and informative MardiGras.com webpage that explains it all!
Carnival refers to the season, which begins on the 12th night after Christmas (January 6) and ends the day before Ash Wednesday, commonly called Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, always falls 46 days before Easter. Some use a formula that says it is the day before Lent, which begins 40 days before Easter, excluding Sundays. The Roman Catholic Church uses a formula to determine the date of Easter. It falls on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which does not necessarily coincide with an astronomical full moon. If the Paschal full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter is the following Sunday. The earliest Easter is March 23 and the latest is April 25. This year Fat Tuesday is on March 5th. In fact, MardiGras.com will also give you the dates of all of the Fat Tuesdays from 1947 through to 2050 if you are curious or want to make future travel plans to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans or even Baton Rouge or Mobile, Alabama where they also celebrate Mardi Gras here in the United States, although New Orleans is the most popular for parades and parties during Carnival season.
What exactly is Fat Tuesday and why is it called that? Fat Tuesday (or Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday) refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (or Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday reflects the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods and indulging in alcoholic beverages before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season which is the next day. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of penance which for many includes giving up something for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
A common misconception is that Mardi Gras is the name for all of the revelry that begins January 6th and continues through Ash Wednesday. This season of revelry is called Carnival; Mardi Gras is the culmination of it all. The day Carnival season officially begins, January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night or Kings Day. Traditionally, this is the day the first king cakes are eaten.
What is a king cake, you wonder? King cakes are traditionally served for the first time on January 6th, or Kings Day, and are enjoyed throughout the Carnival season. A traditional king cake is a braided cinnamon-laced brioche-like cake topped with icing and colored sugars: purple, green and gold, symbolizing justice, faith and power. Many bakeries now offer king cakes with fillings of fruit, cream cheese, even chocolate. A small plastic baby is placed inside the cake to symbolize the baby Jesus; the person who gets the piece of cake with the baby is responsible for buying the next king cake, usually within the next week.
What does all of this mean to you if you are not observing Lent? Perhaps it can serve as a countdown until spring, a reason to party and eat cake, or maybe rather than eating richer, fatty foods you might just want to keep yourself rich and your wallet fat, by shopping here at CleanItSupply.com with savings on all of your Dixie cutlery, plates and cups for your good-time gatherings. Get 5% OFF Your Order $99+ at Checkout, Use Coupon Code: Dixie5. Keep your wallet fat and save your riches this Fat Tuesday.