Sunday, January 5, 2014

When is Mardi Gras?

The most common question in our area is "When is Mardi Gras?"  Well, that answer can be a little tricky.

Mardi Gras is actually French for Fat Tuesday.  Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday.  Ash Wednesday starts Lent, which is 40 days of prayer, penance and self-denial to prepare worshipers for Easter.  Easter falls on the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon date for the year.  If you want to figure that one out, Go HERE and scroll down.  Confused yet?   Now you know why you just look Easter up on the Calender and rock with it.

This year, Fat Tuesday is March 4th and Ash Wednesday, March 5th.  Easter is April 20th 2014.

HOWEVER!  Do not despair.   Mardi Gras season starts on the Epiphany, which is a traditional feasting day on January 6th to celebrate the revelation that Jesus Christ is the son of God.  So feel free to start partying tomorrow.  If 58 days of parting is to much for you, that's ok, start later... like after Valentine's day.  Still confused?  Let's try a time line.

Christmas December 25, 2013

Epiphany January 6, 2014

 Mardi Gras season starts quietly with a feast to celebrate the Epiphany.
Valentine's Day February 14, 2014

 Mardi Gras heats up with parties and parades every weekend.

 Until Fat Tuesday, March 4th 2014

Ash Wednesday, March 5th will be the end of the parties and time to clean up and repent for everything you did during Mardi Gras for the next 40 days.
Good Friday, April 18th 2014

 Easter, April 20th 2014


  1. And to throw one or two additional dates of note into your timeline...the "Party Season" kicks off in all actuality (If you be a European sort, but it could work here as well) is 11:11/11/11, being the eleventh second of the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the....well, you get it. When all the "Elevens" line up, the season of the fool begins, and it's party season until Ash Wednesday. In addition, we've got Halloween, Days of the Dead and a 'con or two in January...busy party season!

  2. Thanks, John, but let's try to keep it simple. Considering that Mardi Gras frequently gets a bad rap because of the distasteful activities of a percentage of people, I thought it might be helpful to explain some of the religious ties.