Mardi Gras is a celebration many modern revelers will be familiar with, however; the tradition dates back to medieval times. From the days when Christianity was introduced to Rome, the festival of Mardi Gras, or Carnival, signified the last day one could consume meat and a variety of other foods and drinks before fasting during Lent.
“Mardi,” which is French for Tuesday, and “gras,” which means fat, were used to term the holiday by the French as a festival of debauchery and feasting before Ash Wednesday. When the French landed near modern-day New Orleans, they brought the festivities of Europe to the Americas, giving the burgeoning lands a taste of the luxurious party-going much of the world celebrates currently.
Revelers from all walks of life celebrate the joys of what living entails, participating in parades and feasts around the globe. Many countries like Brazil, Cana, Germany and Italy hold lavish festivals that can last several days. The iconic green, purple and gold colors were popularized by one of the oldest Mardi Gras krewes, Rex, whose members still participate in annual parades.
Whether French, American or anything in between, Mardi Gras is a reminder of the grandness of life and the togetherness humanity shares across time and nations.
by Kyle Manseill