Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesdays
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When is "Mardi Gra"?
"Mardi Gras" (French for Fat Tuesday) is the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is the final day of Carnival, the three day period preceding the beginning of Lent, the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday immediately before Ash Wednesday (some traditions count Carnival as the entire period of time between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday).

Always 46 days before Easter
February 16 for 2010
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Official name: Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)

Also called
Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day dollar day
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Type:  Local, cultural, Christian

Significance: Celebration prior to fasting season of Lent.

Celebrations: Parades, parties

Related to: Carnival

Colors: Purple represents Justice; Green represents Faith;
Gold represents Power.
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What is this Holiday for?
The entire three day period has come to be known in many areas as Mardi Gras. Perhaps the cities most famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Many other places have important Mardi Gras celebrations as well. Carnival is an important celebration in most of Europe, except in Ireland and the United Kingdom where pancakes are the tradition, and also in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
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What type of holiday is this?
This is a Movable Holiday celebrated all over the world.
Holidays observed Nationwide
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United States
While not observed nationally throughout the United States, a number of cities and regions in the country have notable celebrations. Mardi Gras arrived in North America as a sedate French Catholic tradition with the Le Moyne brothers, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV sent the pair 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, led by Iberville, entered the mouth of the Mississippi River on the evening of March 2, 1699, Lundi Gras, not yet knowing it was the river explored and claimed for France by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1683. The party proceeded upstream 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 made camp. This was on March 3, 1699, Mardi Gras day, so in honor of this holiday, Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras (French: "Mardi Gras Point") and called the small tributary Bayou Mardi Gras.enlou. Bienville went on to found the settlement of Mobile, Alabama in 1702 as the first capital of French Louisiana, and in 1703 the Mardi Gras tradition began with celebrations by the French settlers in that city. By 1720, Biloxi had been made capital of Louisiana. The French customs were introduced there at that time. In 1723, the capital of Louisiana was moved to New Orleans, founded in 1718. The tradition there expanded to the point that it became synonymous with that city. In more recent times several other U.S. cities without a French Catholic heritage have instituted the celebration of Mardi Gras.

read more about Mardi Gras from around the world
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How can I Celebrate this holiday?
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Mardi Gras