Mardi Gras is the last day of the Carnival celebration that began on Epiphany, or King’s Day, on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.
Epiphany is a day with many different beliefs attached to it depending upon which denomination of Christianity someone is, but the primary focus for all the denominations is that the Epiphany is the day that God revealed his Son as a human being in Jesus Christ.
“Epiphany season” is a time of celebration (Carnival) that culminates on Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.” Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent season. According to the gospels, Lent season is when Jesus went to the desert to be tempted by Satan. Lent season is traditionally a time of spiritual refocusing. Observant Christians usually give up something like alcohol or chocolate for forty days until Easter.
But the night before Ash Wednesday is Carnival’s biggest celebration: Mardi Gras, or translated from French, “Fat Tuesday.” This is because all the “sinful” indulgences Christians are about to give up for Lent are engorged upon in one last hurrah.
Catholic French peoples brought the tradition to the Americas and that is why we associate it with New Orleans, where a majority of them settled. It’s also big in French Canada, too.
So when is Mardi Gras 2015?
Mardi Gras 2015 is on Tuesday, February 17.