Mardi Gras, The Feast Before the Fast

Photo courtesy of Felipe Ferreira

Photo courtesy of Felipe Ferreira

Today, February 24th, is Mardi Gras which is French for Fat Tuesday, supposedly the last day for indulging before the somber weeks of Lenten fasting begin with Ash Wednesday. Also known as Shrove Tuesday in some areas, Mardi Gras is always a big deal in New Orleans and has been ever since French settlers landed near there in the early 1700’s.

Nowadays the grand celebration features masked balls, and as many as 350 fancy and fabulous floats and marching bands from around the country, all combined into colorful parades with as many as 15,000 costumed paraders passing by.