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Today Is Mardi Gras Or ‘Fat Tuesday’

Mardi Gras Parade Jester
Chris Graythen, Getty Images News

Today marks the celebration of Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday” in New Orleans. Traditionally, it’s the Tuesday before the Christian observance of Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of the season of Lent. So, some people party hearty today knowing that tomorrow marks the beginning of Lenten denial.

I have a few friends who have gone down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and they said it is wild…parades, dancing in the street and more!

Here’s what it’s all about according to mardigrasneworleans.com:

“The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of “Boeuf Gras,” or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies.

On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans, and named it “Pointe du Mardi Gras” when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday. Bienville also established “Fort Louis de la Louisiane” (which is now Mobile) in 1702. In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America’s very first Mardi Gras.

In 1704, Mobile established a secret society (Masque de la Mobile), similar to those that form our current Mardi Gras krewes. It lasted until 1709. In 1710, the “Boeuf Gras Society” was formed and paraded from 1711 through 1861. The procession was held with a huge bull’s head pushed alone on wheels by 16 men. Later, Rex would parade with an actual bull, draped in white and signaling the coming Lenten meat fast. This occurred on Fat Tuesday.

Mardi Gras is about music, parades, picnics, floats and excitement. It’s one big holiday in New Orleans! Everyone is wearing purple, green, and gold, and adorned with long beads caught from the beautiful floats.’

For a list of parade events visit mardigrasneworleans.com.

Read: Utica On Tap March 22, 2014 At Utica's Stanley Theater

 

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