Mardi Gras is a carnival festival that lasts for several days and ends the day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, which is a time for fasting, abstaining from things, and doing good deeds. People celebrate Mardi Gras by having parties, attending parades, wearing costumes and masks, and eating King Cake. In the evening, there is a costume ball presided over by a King and Queen. Because Lent is a somber time, Mardi Gras is a last chance to live it up and celebrate. Two of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations are in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans. (3-page lesson)
When is Mardi Gras?
It is one day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent.
Lent is before Easter. It is a time when members of some Christian religions fast, give up something, or do good deeds.
What is Fat Tuesday?
Fat Tuesday is what the French call Mardi Gras. Gras means fat and Mardi means Tuesday.
The costume in the photo is of Le Roi Soleil, which is French for Sun King and refers to Louis XIV of France.