Shrove Tuesday And Some History Behind Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday, appropriately named for the indulgent February 13th celebration, has a centuries-long reputation. Mardi Gras—the French term for ‘Fat Tuesday’—lasts from January 6 until February 13. The annual Carnival always kicks off 12 days after Christmas (January 6th) and continues until Fat Tuesday (the evening before Ash Wednesday.) It’s a period filled with celebrations, parades, balls, and parties, all of which wrap up tomorrow. The first North American Mardi Gras was celebrated in Alabama—not Louisiana. French-Canadian explorer Pierre d’Iberville arrived in what is now modern day Mobile, Alabama on Fat Tuesday, 1699. He named the location Point du Mardi Gras and threw a little party. In the years that followed, travelers would come to the spot explicitly for Fat Tuesday celebrations. To this day, Mobile, Alabama claims to hold the oldest Mardi Gras celebrations in North America. In 1872 Russian Royalty travelled to attended the New Orleans festivities. When The Russian Duke arrived his welcoming committee handed out purple, green, and gold beads to the partygoers as they were the colors of his home. There are more than 70 secret societies (or “Krewes”) involved in today’s Mardi Gras festivities. By the way, the English tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday came about as a way to use as much milk, fats, and eggs as possible before lent Ash Wednesday. ……Ed

Source:Leah Silverman / Photo: Sarah Pflug  /www.townandcountrymag.com

Posted in All Stories, Ed McMahon

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