If you’re like most of us, finding a holiday that gives you a great excuse to have a drink (or three) and skip the gym for half-priced appetizers is like stumbling on actual gold. Enter, Mardi Gras. Also known as “Fat Tuesday” in French, Mardi Gras is usually celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which just so happens to be February 13th this year.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 day period of fasting before Easter, Mardi Gras is considered the “last hurrah” where partygoers indulge in their favorite fatty foods and of course drink until their heart is content, or until you pass out from alcohol poisoning, which we don’t recommend.
The official colors of the fattest Tuesday of the year are purple, gold and green. Each color signifies something different. Purple signifies justice, gold stands for power and green means faith.
With New Orleans, being the Mardi Gras capital of the world, the first Fat Tuesday was celebrated with by having a parade beginning in 1837. The first floats made their first appearance in 1857.
If you’re wondering when and where those lovely beads women will do almost anything for, came into play, they weren’t incorporated into the parades until the early 1900s. At that time Santa would throw them to parade watchers. The flashing of women’s ladies parts in exchange for those brightly colored beads didn’t come until a couple of decades later.
With New Orleans, Louisana being the capital of all things Mardi Gras, it makes sense that other states consider it a holiday worth partaking in also. States like Alabama, the home of the first Mardi Gras parade and 2nd biggest celebration and Florida, declare Fat Tuesday as a state holiday. Tulane University shuts down campus for the week.
Other states like Texas don’t necessarily declare Mardi Gras a state holiday, but cities like Galveston are known to celebrate and do it up big time for Fat Tuesday. If one of the unlucky ones who can’t afford to miss work or school and partake in the festivities, then these hilarious memes and GIFs will just have to do the trick until you book your next trip to New Orleans.