When is Mardi Gras 2024: Why does it date change each year and how long does it last?
Extravagant costumes, large parades and colorful masks are often associated with the all-out celebration known as Mardi Gras. Across the globe, from France to the U.S., millions celebrate Mardi Gras each year.
Though it began as a religious holiday observed before Lent, Mardi Gras has become more than a single day, now encompassing a period of partying.
But when is Mardi Gras 2024 and how long does it last? Here is what you need to know about the holiday.
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When is Mardi Gras 2023?
Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, in 2024 is Feb. 13, 2024.
When does Mardi Gras start?
Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday," according to Britannica. It is traditionally celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, before Ash Wednesday, following the Christian liturgical calendar.
Historically, on this day, people were meant to use "all the fats in the home before Lent in preparation for fasting and abstinence," says Britannica. Christians would binge on all the rich, fatty foods, such as meat, eggs and cheese, in their home prior to the period of Lenten fasting.
Mardi Gras is a part of the Carnival festivities. The word "Carnival" derives from the medieval Latin word, "carnelevarium," which means to take away or remove meat, says History.com.
Today, these customs are not the primary focus of Mardi Gras. Instead, Mardi Gras in the U.S. is known for its parades, king cakes and beads of green, purple and gold.
Mardi Gras: What is it, and how do people celebrate every year
How long is Mardi Gras?
Although Mardi Gras technically refers to one specific day, Shrove Tuesday, it is often considered a whole season. The first Mardi Gras festivities often take place on the Twelfth Night, or the Epiphany, on January 6, according to Britannica.
These parades and events continue until the climax on official Mardi Gras. The Mardi Gras celebrations last anywhere from four to eight weeks, depending on when Ash Wednesday lands, according to Condé Nast Traveler.
According to the French Quarter official website, on Mardi Gras Day outdoor celebrations last until midnight, and then you will be "asked to clear off the street."
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Is Mardi Gras celebrated every year?
Yes, Mardi Gras is generally celebrated every year. In 2021, the New Orleans parades were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mardi Gras festivities in 2024 are set for Feb. 13 in New Orleans.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mardi Gras 2024: When is the holiday? Get to know more about Fat Tuesday