Fat Tuesday: the last let out before Lent starts Ash Wednesday
Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French
Carnival is from Latin term Carne Vale “farewell To The Flesh”
Carnival season kicks off at Epiphany which is January 6th-12 days after Christmas to celebrate the arrival of the 3 kings who brought Jesus Gifts after his birth. There are a series of parties leading from Epiphany to Mardi Gras.
At Epiphany French tradition started giving Kings’ Cake. The cakes were round to symbolize the circular route the Wise men took to get to Baby Christ to foil King Herold’s plan of murdering Jesus as an infant. A Bean would be hidden in the cakes and whomever had the bean was granted good luck for the season. Today, in Louisianna, a small, plastic Baby is customarily hidden in Kings Cakes and whomever get the baby hosts the next King’s Cake party the following year.
The official colors of Mardi Gras are: Purple (a symbol of Justice), Green (Faith), Gold (Power)
Mardi Gras will fall on a Tuesday somewhere between Feb 3rd to March 9th.
Mardi Gras celebrations ceased during both World Wars and 1700’s-1827 during the Spanish Rule and a bit into US control over the land.