Posted by: getthenac | February 15, 2010

Fun Facts about Fat Tuesday

by Kathy Whitney

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, the climax of the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. Here are some fun facts about Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday:

Mardi Gras is directly translated from French as ‘Fat Tuesday.’ The name predated the Reformation and referred to the common Christian tradition of eating special rich foods before the fasting season of Lent. 

The Mardi Gras or Carnival season officially begins on Jan. 6, or the Twelfth Night

Fat Tuesday is always  the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.

The colors for Mardi Gras were chosen in 1837. Purple signified justice, green stood for faith, and gold represented power.

One of the many Mardi Gras traditions is the  King Cake. The cake is made with a rich Danish dough, baked and covered with a sugar topping in Mardi Gras colors. In the mid-1900s, a small plastic baby became the symbol of this Holy Day and was placed inside of each King Cake.

Fat Tuesday is a legal holiday in New Orleans. 

Fat Tuesday has occurred every year except during 1918 and 1919 due to World War I, and again in the 1940s due to World War II. During the 1920s and 1930s the parties were not as prolific because of Prohibition and the Great Depression.

Here’s one final fact for you: If you’ve never been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, it is something you should add to your bucket list. A guaranteed good time.


  1. I think I still have some beads you brought back when you went there about 20 years ago.

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