Let the good times roll!


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Lady dressed in full Mardi Gras outfit with decorated umbrella at a festival.

Tova Thomas, Staff Writer

When the month of February comes along, we are ready for some beads, moon pies, and king cakes! Mardi Gras is such an exciting time of year to dress up in purple, yellow and green colors and represent a great carnival experience. People cannot wait until “Fat Tuesday” to enjoy the parades, alcohol and the line of dancers and bands marching to the rhythm of their own drums. For all of us to be excited for this great event, one must always ask the questions, “How did Mardi Gras come along? And why do we celebrate this great event for an entire month?”

Mardi is a French word that translates to “Tuesday,” and Gras means “Fat.” In my research, I found that traditionally, in the coming days leading up to “Lent Season” (a time during which Christians give up something in their life leading up to Easter), merrymakers in France will get fat and binge eat fatty foods like meats, eggs, cheese and much more. They do all of this because they know that for the next 40 days, they will have to eat only fish. 

The first Mardi Gras celebration took place on March 3, 1699, when the French explorers Pierre Le Moyne d’lberville and Sieur de Bienville landed in New Orleans, Louisiana. After that, it became a tradition, making it a holiday for street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. In 1827, a group of students dressed up in colorful costumes and danced the night away. As time passed, the first recorded Mardi Gras took place, a tradition that remains the same to this day. 

Louisiana is the only state to celebrate Mardi Gras as an actual holiday. Alabama and  Mississippi also have their own Mardi Gras events and traditions. Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday that dates all the way back to the pagan springs and fertility rites. Marid Gras brought thousands of people together to celebrate, dance and get fat before the great holiday of Easter. In order to move forward with Mardi Gras, you had to know how it came about and who created it. It will forever be a great holiday to meet new people and come together and get along with one another no matter your background, race or religion, just the world stopping to come together and celebrate!