Mardi Gras is a religious and traditional festival in the United States of America. People of this country celebrate this festival with events of the carnival on or after the Christian feast of the Epiphany. It is a celebration of eating rich food to the heart’s content before sacrificing it for six weeks until the Easter Sunday arrives. The tradition of celebrating Mardi Gras came from France to North America.
Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists mainly celebrate this festival and every year, they celebrate it all over the USA with huge Carnivals and food fests.
What is Mardi Gras, USA?
Mardi Gras is events of Carnival, food festivals and Parade Celebrated by a group of Christians the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lenten sacrifice. Lenten Sacrifice is giving up pleasure or luxury for Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists. They fast on the Ash Wednesday and give up their favorite rich foods and pleasures until the Easter Sunday arrives. They also keep praying according to the Lenten Calendar.
Before starting Lenten sacrifice, they celebrate Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. On this day they eat their favorite food to their heart’s content and sacrifices it for six weeks. Although the Western Christians celebrate this all over Europe, it has its own beauty when it comes to celebrating Mardi Gras in the USA.
Some Key Facts About Mardi Gras, USA:
- Mardi Gras is a religious and cultural Festival celebrated by western Christians.
- People also call it Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday.
- They celebrated it on the day of Epiphany or the day after that. People also know it as ‘Three Kings Day’.
- After this Celebration Christians do Lenten sacrifice as an act of coming closer to God.
- This festival is very colorful; people wear fancy dresses and costumes on the day of celebration and go to colorful parades.
- It is not only a festival for the Americans; The people of Europe also celebrate this festival grandly.
- Although it is a Christian celebration, anybody can join the parades and go to the Carnivals.
- Mardi Gras is a state holiday in Alabama’s Mobile and Baldwin counties.
Mardi Gras, USA – A Short Overview:
Mardi Gras is the world’s one of the most colorful and cultural festivals. Only a group of Christians but celebrate it, but anybody can enjoy its atmosphere full of joy and happiness. This festival is full of colors and enthusiasm. Every year according to the Christian calendar on Shrove Tuesday, people celebrate this festival only to start Lenten sacrifice. It is not a national holiday in the USA since this country has a Protestant majority population. Still, people celebrate with huge carnivals, parades, food fests all over the USA. Although at first, this festival is mostly cultural, later it got attached to Christian Calendar.
What is the History of Mardi Gras, USA:
Some think it may link Mardi Gras with the ancient Roman pagan celebrations of spring and fertility such as Saturnalia, which dates back to 133–31 BC. This festival is for paying honor to the god of agriculture, Saturn. Roman pagans observed it in mid-December, before the sowing of winter crops. This festival used to be a week-long festival when work and business came to a halt. Schools and courts of law remained closed, and the normal social patterns were suspended. According to Julian calendar, the winter solstice fell on December 25. Hence, the celebration gradually became a festival connected with Christmas.
But the celebration of Mardi Gras in America has a different history. Mardi Gras arrived in North America as a Sedate French Catholic tradition with the Le Moyne brothers in the 17th century when King Louis XIV sent the pair in order to defend France’s claim on the territory of Louisiane, which included what are now the U.S. states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The expedition which was led by Iberville entered the mouth of the Mississippi River on the evening of March 2, 1699, Lundi Gras who did not know yet that René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle explored and claimed this river for France by in 1683.
The party started their journey to a place on the West bank about 60 miles downriver from where New Orleans is today, where a small tributary emptied into the great river and they made camp in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. This was on March 3, 1699, Mardi Gras Day, so in honor of this holiday, Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras and called the small tributary Bayou Mardi Gras.
When is Mardi Gras Celebrated?
The date of Mardi Gras changes every year because it is connected to Easter, which can fall on any Sunday between March 23 and April 25. Mardi Gras day always takes place 47 days before Easter on a Tuesday before the Ash Wednesday. That is why they call it Shrove Tuesday.
Best Places to Celebrate Mardi Gras in the USA?
New Orleans of Louisiana is one of the best places to celebrate Mardi Gras. Also, in Alabama Mobile and Baldwin Counties, Demopolis City celebrates Mardi Gras to its best. in the Ozark Mountain resort town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, people celebrate Mardi Gras as Eureka Gras. Begun in 2006 as a “One Car Parade” conducted by New Orleanian Daniel Ellis after he moved to Eureka Springs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Mardi Gras celebrations in San Luis Obispo, California have been controversial in recent years. In 2005, leaders of this Central California city called for an end to public celebrations, as the city had become a destination for students from across the state, and celebrations had gotten out of control. Pensacola, Florida hosts a Mardi Gras Celebration. In Pensacola, people also use Moon Pies in combination with beads, coins, candies & Krewe-related trades. Hollywood Orlando and Tampa also celebrate this festival.
Essential tips to help you enjoy Mardi Gras, USA:
- Wherever in the USA, you decide to celebrate Mardi Gras, make your arrangements early to stay in a decent place.
- For a simple way to dress on-theme, grab some beaded necklaces in the traditional Carnival colors of purple, green, and gold. The purple symbolizes justice, green is for faith, and the gold stands for power.
- Mardi Gras doesn’t have to be Fat Tuesday. You can whip up some healthy fare without ruining the spirit.
- In New Orleans, many women expose their breasts to the parade. If you are uncomfortable with it, make sure you track them and keep a safe distance.
- If you want no go to a Carnival, you can go to The Mobile Carnival. It is the largest Mardi Grass carnival in the USA.
- Arrive earlier to the venue, it is always a pleasant start.
- Eat something at the venue and experience something new.
Safety Concerns During Mardi Gras, USA:
- Just like any other place, traveling to a new, unfamiliar, unknown surroundings may have some safety concerns.
- Make yourself familiar with people, their lifestyle and places so you don’t become susceptible to potential dangers.
- Be careful of thieves at the parade.
- Keep your Gazettes in a safe place.
- If you plan to have adult beverages while you party, be sure you have a safe way home.
- Know in advance that street celebrations are often very crowded and it’s important to decide if it is safe to bring children, especially young children in strollers or who need a parent to guide them or help with mobility.
- If you are going to be in a large crowd, be sure to protect your eyes. We’ve never seen anyone wearing safety goggles to Mardi Gras but it’s not a bad idea since people will be throwing beads at the parade.
Well, this sounds like an amazing festival. Eating and drinking to the heart’s content is really an enjoyable festival before the Lenten sacrifice. If you plan to visit the festival, you will surely be amazed by the colors and varieties of food at the carnival. If you are planning to join the festival of Mardi Gras, plan early. This is an amazing event that is also spectacular in so many ways that one can enjoy it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mardi Gras, USA:
1. When is Mardi Gras 2021?
Answer: Mardi Gras 2021 falls on Tuesday, February 16, 2021
In 2021, Mardi Gras Day is February 16. Fat Tuesday is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. … Family Gras 2021 takes place Friday, February 5- Sunday, February 7.
2. What cities in the US celebrate Mardi Gras?
New Orleans, Louisiana.
Lake Charles, Louisiana.
3. What is the weather usually like during Mardi Gras? What should I pack?
Answer: The weather during Mardi Gras can vary from very cold to very warm, almost hot. Sometimes it will change from one extreme to the other during the same day. It’s a good idea to layer your clothes since a chilly morning may turn into a warm afternoon.
Since you will be spending long days outside, pack comfortable shoes and clothes that can get somewhat dirty. Don
4. Why do Americans celebrate Mardi Gras?
Answer: It is a cultural festival before the latent sacrifice starts.
5. Why is it called Fat Tuesday?
Answer: Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual Lenten sacrifices and fasting of the Lenten season.e Carnival and Mardi Gras the same thing?
6. Are Carnival and Mardi Gras the same thing?
Answer: Technically, “Carnival” refers to the period of feasting and fun that begins on Jan. 6 (the Feast of the Epiphany) and ends on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the final day of revelry before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. It is also common for people to refer to the entire season as Mardi Gras and, for clarity, to call Fat Tuesday “Mardi Gras Day.” Locals tend to call the season “Carnival” and, to us, the last two weekends leading up to Tuesday are”Mardi Gras.”