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Origin Of Holidays

Mardi Gras


The Lenten period takes 40 days. During the time of Lent, the faithful dedicate their lives to their faith and give up something as a sacrifice as in the account of Jesus' sacrifice to the faithful. Mardi Gras was that celebration to get everything out of the sinners' soul before sacrificing themselves to God symbolically.

Meat was a common item given up during this time; some would opt for fish to replace meat which led to the Christian association with fish. This becomes a curious word association with Mardi Gras and Carnival. Mardi Gras literally means fat Tuesday and Carnival is the feast of meat.

The more devoted and somber followers would instead observe Shrove Tuesday where one present oneself to a priest for confession, penance, and absolution. Sometimes the Mardi Gras celebration would wind down with a confession. Those who wanted to cut loose, but not wanting to observe Mardi Gras might instead celebrate Pancake Day.

Like most customs of the spring fertility rites, Mardi Gras patterns itself after the celebration of life and in honor of spring(History, n.d.).

"Mardi Gras and Carnival are often celebrated much in the same way. They are celebrated by wearing costumes, eating nothing, but goodies, and drinking. One would be the parades and the history like that they were both founded by the catholic church" (Mardi Gras New Orleans, n.d.).