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Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
(/ˈmɑːrdi ˌɡrɑː/), also called Shrove Tuesday,[1] or Fat Tuesday,[2][3][4][5] in English, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
is French for "Fat Tuesday", reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Related popular practices are associated with Shrovetide celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. In countries such as the United Kingdom, Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
is also known as Shrove Tuesday, which is derived from the word shrive, meaning "confess".[1]

Contents

1 Traditions

1.1 Belgium 1.2 Brazil 1.3 Cayman Islands 1.4 Colombia 1.5 Czech Republic 1.6 France 1.7 Germany 1.8 Italy 1.9 Netherlands 1.10 Russia and Ukraine 1.11 Sweden 1.12 United States

1.12.1 Exposure by women

2 See also 3 References 4 External links

Traditions[edit]

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The festival season varies from city to city, as some traditions, such as the one in New Orleans, Louisiana, consider Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
to stretch the entire period from Twelfth Night (the last night of Christmas which begins Epiphany) to Ash Wednesday.[6][7] Others treat the final three-day period before Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
as the Mardi Gras.[8] In Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras-associated social events begin in November, followed by mystic society balls on Thanksgiving,[6][9] then New Year's Eve, followed by parades and balls in January and February, celebrating up to midnight before Ash Wednesday. In earlier times, parades were held on New Year's Day.[6] Other cities famous for Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro; Barranquilla, Colombia; George Town, Cayman Islands; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; and Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico. Carnival
Carnival
is an important celebration in Anglican
Anglican
and Catholic
Catholic
European nations.[1] In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and Ireland, the week before Ash Wednesday is called "Shrovetide", ending on Shrove Tuesday. It has its popular celebratory aspects, as well. Pancakes are a traditional food. Pancakes and related fried breads or pastries made with sugar, fat, and eggs are also traditionally consumed at this time in many parts of Latin
Latin
America and the Caribbean.

Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in Dakar, Senegal

Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in Marseille, France

Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in Binche, Belgium

Belgium[edit] In the Belgian city of Binche, the Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
festival is one of the most important days of the year and the summit of the Carnival
Carnival
of Binche. Around 1000 Gilles
Gilles
dance throughout the city from morning until past dusk, whilst traditional carnival songs play. In 2003, the " Carnival
Carnival
of Binche" was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Brazil[edit] Main article: Brazilian Carnival Carnival
Carnival
is the most famous Brazilian holiday. During this time, Brazil attracts 70% of its tourists. Variations in carnival celebrations are observed throughout the multitude of Brazilian cities. Yet, a commonality observed among them is the incorporation of samba into the celebrations. The southeastern cities of Brazil have massive parades that take place in large sambadromes. The Rio Carnival is where two million people celebrate in the city. The city of Salvador holds a very large carnival celebration where millions of people celebrate the party in the streets of the city with a very big diversity of musical styles together. Cayman Islands[edit]

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Cayman Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
hosts a festive Monday Food Festival as well as an Ash Wednesday. Colombia[edit] Main article: Barranquilla's Carnival Carnaval de Barranquilla
Barranquilla
is Colombia's Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
celebration. In 2003, it was proclaimed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Czech Republic[edit] In the Czech Republic it is a folk tradition to celebrate Mardi Gras, which is called Masopust (meat-fast i.e. beginning of fast there). There are celebration in many places including Prague[10] but the tradition also prevails in the villages such as Staré Hamry, whose the door-to-door processions there made it to the UNESCO
UNESCO
World Intangible Cultural Heritage List.[11] France[edit]

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Carnival
Carnival
parades take place in many cities including Dunkerque, Granville, Sarreguemines
Sarreguemines
as well as in the French Caribbean
French Caribbean
islands Guadeloupe and Martinique. The Nice Carnival
Carnival
is held annually in Nice on the French Riviera. The earliest records establish its existence in 1294 when the Count of Provence, Charles Anjou, wrote that he had passed "the joyous days of carnival."This may make the Nice Carnival
Carnival
the original carnival celebration. Today the event attracts over a million visitors to Nice every year over a two-week period. Germany[edit] Main articles: Karneval, Fasching and Fastnacht The celebration on the same day in Germany
Germany
knows many different terms, such as Schmutziger Donnerstag or Fetter Donnerstag (Fat Thursday), Unsinniger Donnerstag, Weiberfastnacht, Greesentag and others, and are often only one part of the whole carnival events during one or even two weeks before Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
be called Karneval, Fasching, or Fastnacht among others, depending on the region. In standard German, schmutzig means "dirty", but in the Alemannic dialects schmotzig means "lard" (Schmalz), or "fat";[12] "Greasy Thursday", as remaining winter stores of lard and butter used to be consumed at that time, before the fasting began. Fastnacht means "Eve of the Fast", but all three terms cover the whole carnival season. The traditional start of the carnival season is on 11 November at 11:11 am (11/11 11:11). Italy[edit] In Italy
Italy
Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
is called Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday). It's the main day of Carnival
Carnival
along with the Thursday before, called Giovedí Grasso (Fat Thursday), which ratifies the start of the celebrations. The most famous Carnivals
Carnivals
in Italy
Italy
are in Venice, Viareggio and Ivrea. Ivrea has the characteristic "Battle of Oranges" that finds its roots in medieval times. The Italian version of the festival is spelled Carnevale.[13] Netherlands[edit] Main article: Carnival
Carnival
in the Netherlands The Netherlands
Netherlands
also has a festival similar to Mardi Gras. It's called Carnaval and is similar to the Venice Carnival. The origin of the word Carnaval is carnem levare which means "to take away meat" in Latin, or carne vale, Latin
Latin
for "farewell to meat". It marks the beginning of Lent
Lent
(1 March 2017) leading up to Easter The carnival in the Netherlands
Netherlands
is mainly held in the southern part of the Netherlands
Netherlands
in the provinces of Noord-Brabant
Noord-Brabant
and Limburg, some parts of Zeeland
Zeeland
and in eastern parts of Twente
Twente
and Gelderland. As with many popular festivals, people tend to loosen some moral codes and become laid-back or loose, which is based in the ancient role-reversal origins of Carnaval, including dressing in costumes. Russia and Ukraine[edit]

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Both Russia and Ukraine have the festival of Maslenitsa (Масленица, rus.), which on its pagan side celebrates the end of winter and the upcoming summer, and on its Christian side marks the last week before the Great Fasting
Fasting
period before Christian Easter. The festival includes family gatherings with festive meals and treats of bliny (crepes) that resemble the round shape of sun, and culminates on the weekend with mass outdoors gatherings, festivities and entertaining activities such as pole climbing, where a wheel with variety of presents is affixed on the top of a long pole and the contestants need to reach the top to get them. Also the festival's mascot - a feminine figure made out of straw, which symbolizes winter, gets put of fire at the end of the celebration. Sweden[edit] In Sweden
Sweden
the celebration is called Fettisdagen, when you eat fastlagsbulle, more commonly called Semla. The name comes from the words "fett" (fat) and "tisdag" (Tuesday). Originally, this was the only day one should eat fastlagsbullar.[14] United States[edit] See also: Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in the United States, Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in Mobile, and Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in New Orleans While not observed nationally throughout the United States, a number of traditionally ethnic French cities and regions in the country have notable celebrations. Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
arrived in North America as a French Catholic
Catholic
tradition with the Le Moyne brothers,[15] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV
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, Louisiana
Louisiana
and part of eastern Texas.[15] The expedition, led by Iberville, entered the mouth of the Mississippi River on the evening of 2 March 1699 (new style), Lundi Gras. They did not yet know it was the river explored and claimed for France by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
in 1683. The party proceeded upstream to a place on the east bank about 60 miles downriver from where New Orleans
New Orleans
is today, and made camp. This was on 3 March 1699, Mardi Gras, so in honour of this holiday, Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
(French: " Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Point") and called the nearby tributary Bayou Mardi Gras.[16] Bienville went on to found the settlement of Mobile, Alabama
Alabama
in 1702 as the first capital of French Louisiana.[17] In 1703 French settlers in Mobile established the first organised Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
celebration tradition in what was to become the United States.[15][18][19][20] The first informal mystic society, or krewe, was formed in Mobile in 1711, the Boeuf Gras Society.[18] By 1720, Biloxi had been made capital of Louisiana. The French Mardi Gras customs had accompanied the colonists who settled there.[15]

Knights of Revelry parade down Royal Street in Mobile during the 2010 Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
season.

In 1723, the capital of Louisiana
Louisiana
was moved to New Orleans, founded in 1718.[17] The first Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
parade held in New Orleans
New Orleans
is recorded to have taken place in 1837. The tradition in New Orleans
New Orleans
expanded to the point that it became synonymous with the city in popular perception, and embraced by residents of New Orleans
New Orleans
beyond those of French or Catholic
Catholic
heritage. Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
celebrations are part of the basis of the slogan Laissez les bons temps rouler ("Let the good times roll").[15][not in citation given] On Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Day, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the last parades of the season wrap up and the celebrations come to a close with the Meeting of the Courts (known locally as the Rex Ball). Other cities along the Gulf Coast with early French colonial heritage, from Pensacola, Florida; Galveston, Texas; to Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana; and north to Natchez, Mississippi, have active Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
celebrations. Galveston's first recorded Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
celebration, in 1867, included a masked ball at Turner Hall (Sealy at 21st St.) and a theatrical performance from Shakespeare's "King Henry IV" featuring Alvan Reed (a justice of the peace weighing in at 350 pounds!) as Falstaff. The first year that Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
was celebrated on a grand scale in Galveston was 1871 with the emergence of two rival Mardi Gras societies, or "Krewes" called the Knights of Momus (known only by the initials "K.O.M.") and the Knights of Myth, both of which devised night parades, masked balls, exquisite costumes and elaborate invitations. The Knights of Momus, led by some prominent Galvestonians, decorated horse-drawn wagons for a torch lit night parade. Boasting such themes as "The Crusades," "Peter the Great," and "Ancient France," the procession through downtown Galveston culminated at Turner Hall with a presentation of tableaux and a grand gala. In the rural Acadiana
Acadiana
area, many Cajuns
Cajuns
celebrate with the Courir de Mardi Gras, a tradition that dates to medieval celebrations in France.[21] St. Louis, Missouri, founded in 1764 by French fur traders, claims to host the second largest Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
celebration in the United States.[22] The celebration is held in the historic French neighborhood, Soulard, and attracts hundreds of thousands of people from around the country.[23] Although founded in the 1760s, the St. Louis Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
festivities only date to the 1980s.[24] The city's celebration begins with "12th night," held on Epiphany, and ends on Fat Tuesday. The season is peppered with various parades celebrating the city's rich French Catholic
Catholic
heritage.[25]

Exposure by women[edit]

A topless woman at a coffee house, Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
event in New Orleans, 2009

Women showing their breasts during Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in New Orleans, USA, has been documented since 1889, when the Times-Democrat decried the "degree of immodesty exhibited by nearly all female masqueraders seen on the streets." The practice was mostly limited to tourists in the upper Bourbon Street area.[26][27] In the crowded streets of the French Quarter, generally avoided by locals on Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Day, flashers on balconies cause crowds to form on the streets. In the last decades of the 20th century, the rise in producing commercial videotapes catering to voyeurs helped encourage a tradition of women baring their breasts in exchange for beads and trinkets. Social scientists studying "ritual disrobement" found, at Mardi Gras 1991, 1,200 instances of body-baring in exchange for beads or other favors.[27] See also[edit]

Carnaval de Ponce Joie de vivre Shrove Tuesday Sydney Mardi Gras Soulard Užgavėnės

References[edit]

^ a b c Melitta Weiss Adamson, Francine Segan (2008). Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl. ABC-CLIO. In Anglican
Anglican
countries, Mardis Gras is known as Shrove Tuesday-from shrive meaning "confess"-or Pancake Day — after the breakfast food that symbolizes one final hearty meal of eggs, butter, milk and sugar before the fast. On Ash Wednesday, the morning after Mardi Gras, repentant Christians return to church to receive upon the forehead the sign of the cross in ashes.  ^ In London, Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
season: "Paul's Pastry Shop kneads a ton of dough in Picayune", Allbusiness.com, 2009, webpage: Allbusiness-35. ^ Metro (25 July 2002). " Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in New Orleans". London. Retrieved 25 June 2016.  ^ In Mobile, USA Today (21 February 2006). " New Orleans
New Orleans
has competition for Mardi Gras". McLean, VA. Retrieved 25 June 2016.  ^ In San Diego, Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
season: "sandiego.com – Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in San Diego: FAQ's", SanDiego.com, 2008, webpage: SanDiego.com-SD. ^ a b c " Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Terminology". "Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau". Archived from the original on 9 December 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2007.  ^ Wilds, John; Charles L. Dufour; Walter G. Cowan (1996). Louisiana, Yesterday and Today: A Historical Guide to the State. Baton Rouge: LSU Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0807118931. Retrieved 11 December 2015.  ^ Bratcher, Dennis (7 January 2010). "The Season of Lent". Christian Resource Institute. Retrieved 25 June 2016.  ^ "Mobile Carnival
Carnival
Association, 1927", MardiGrasDigest.com, 2006, webpage: mardigrasdigest-Mobile Archived 7 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. ^ " Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in Bohemia-Prague". Retrieved 18 January 2016.  ^ "Staročeský masopust Hamry". Retrieved 16 December 2017.  ^ "Woher hat der Schmutzige Donnerstag seinen Namen?". Regionalzeitung Rontaler AG (in German). 17 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2015.  ^ Killinger, Charles L. (1 January 2005). Culture and Customs of Italy. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313324895.  ^ "Swedish semla: more than just a bun". Sweden.se. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2011.  ^ a b c d e " New Orleans
New Orleans
& Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
History Timeline " (event list), Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Digest, 2005, webpage: MG-time Archived 24 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. ^ "9 Things You May Not Know About Mardi Gras". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.  ^ a b "Timeline 18th Century:" (events), Timelines of History, 2007, webpage: TLine-1700-1724: on "1702–1711" of Mobile. ^ a b "Carnival/Mobile Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Timeline". Museum of Mobile. Museum of Mobile. Retrieved 18 July 2012.  ^ " Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in Mobile" (history), Jeff Sessions, Senator, Library of Congress, 2006, webpage: LibCongress-2665. ^ "Mardi Gras" (history), Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2007, webpage: MGmobile. ^ Barry Jean Ancelet
Barry Jean Ancelet
(1989). Capitaine, voyage ton flag : The Traditional Cajun Country Mardi Gras. Center for Louisiana
Louisiana
Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. ISBN 0-940984-46-6.  ^ Geiling, Natasha. "Best Places to Celebrate Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Outside of New Orleans". Smithsonian. Retrieved 11 February 2018.  ^ Houser, Dave G. "7 big Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
celebrations (not in New Orleans)". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018.  ^ /soulardhistory.html " Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in St. Louis' Soulard Neighborhood" Check url= value (help). Retrieved 12 February 2018.  ^ "12th Night Soulard Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
2018 St. Louis, MO". stlmardigras.org. Retrieved 11 February 2018.  ^ Sparks, R. “American Sodom: New Orleans
New Orleans
Faces Its Critics and an Uncertain Future”. La Louisiane à la dérive. The École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales Coloquio - 16 December 2005. ^ a b Shrum, W. and J. Kilburn. "Ritual Disrobement at Mardi Gras: Ceremonial Exchange and Moral Order". Social Forces, Vol. 75, No. 2. (Dec. 1996), pp. 423-458.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mardi Gras.

Traditional Cajun Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Celebrations Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
in Mobile, Encyclopedia of Alabama Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Around the World – slideshow by The Guardian Fashion plates featuring historic Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
costumes from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries

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