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Happy Mardi Gras




Laissez les bons temps rouler! Even if you can’t be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras today, you can still celebrate. Make some gumbo (or find a good Cajun restaurant), cue up some Dixieland jazz, dress up your dog, or just amaze your family and friends with these fun facts.


  1. “Mardi Gras” is French for “Fat Tuesday." The name originated when observant Catholics had to rid their home of meat, eggs, butter, lard, and cheese ahead of Ash Wednesday (which began 40 days of fasting for Lent).

  2. Not wanting to waste such precious (and delicious!) ingredients, thrifty householders used up those ingredients by whipping up large batches of pancakes, leading to a slightly different celebration in the United Kingdom: Pancake Tuesday.

  3. The first American Mardi Gras was celebrated on March 3, 1699, near present-day New Orleans.

  4. The Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold are said to have symbolic meaning: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. As with many things in history, the origins are much more muddled, but that’s no reason not to go colorful today!

  5. Finally, in case you don’t speak French, “Laissez les bon temps rouler” means “Let the good times roll!”

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