Events  Mardi Gras - highlight of festivities before Lent
27/02/201700:00 TV5MONDE

Why do we celebrate “Fat Tuesday” (Mardi Gras), you ask?
Why are there always a carnival celebration somewhere in the world in the month of February, or even as early as January?
What is the history behind all these festive celebrations?
To answer these questions, one must first trace back to religion. You might have heard of the terms Ash Wednesday or Lent; you might also already know that Lent is a time to repent, to cleanse oneself spiritually (and physically so), to observe abstinence from all types of enjoyment. In religious terms, Lent is a time period of solemn religious observance which lasts approximately six weeks. As such, back in antiquities, the weeks before Lent is a time where people eat, party, drink and content themselves with all types of material celebrations before this big period of various types of observations.

Beads are a common decorative motif in Mardi Gras celebrations.
Traditionally, the last day of the Carnival season always falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is also the first day of Lent. Over the last few weeks, we have seen photos and news stories from around the world, with countries such as Brazil and cities such as Nice celebrating this religious and historical tradition in dance, music, party and food. We finally arrive to the last part, which is Mardi Gras - a direct translation being “Fat Tuesday”. Mardi Gras also takes place across the world, most notable being the city of New Orleans in the United States, a city established by French colonists and heavily influenced by French culture.
Take a look at some of the past years of celebrations! If you’re in the area, this is an event which you must not miss! While many events could charge an admission fee, the parade is opened to the public.
For more information, refer to its official website. Enjoy!


Parade with creative floats are always a crowd pleaser.

Festival goers also dress up as members of nobility, parading the streets while tipping their hats off to New Orleans' French past.

© - scenes from the 2011 event

© Skip Bolen / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images
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