Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) Date in the current year: February 9, 2016

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) The Tuesday before the beginning of Lent is Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday). The festival is the last night of eating rich and fatty foods before a long-lasting Lenten season.

Popular traditions of Mardi Gras (also known as Shrove Tuesday) include carnival, dancing, sports competitions and parades. Pancakes and other fried fatty and rich food is traditional dish of the carnival. The tradition of eating rich food is similar to European, Latin-American and Caribbean countries.

Mardi Gras is a very popular celebration in different countries that is why the feast is observed in numerous ways. For some countries Mardi Gras is the entire period between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. Others treat Mardi Gras as a three-day event before Ash Wednesday.

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, but other countries have their own names for the celebration. It is Fastnacht in German-speaking countries, Martedí Grasso in Italy and Fastan in Sweden. Italian celebration of Mardi Gras features the Battle of Oranges, that includes throwing oranges between organized groups. In the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia Shrove Thuesday is often referred to as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake Day due to the tradition of cooking and consuming pancakes on this day.

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