Mardi gras takes place this Tuesday, February 21, 2023. What is the origin of this celebration, the custom of which is to dress up, to hide, but also to taste donuts or bugnes. Recipes, meaning and traditions… Here’s what you need to know about Mardi Gras.
[Mise à jour du 21 février 2023 à 9h45]. Mardi Gras is celebrated on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. According to tradition, this feast takes place 47 days before Easter. The date varies from year to year depending on the Easter calendar. For the occasion, young and old dress up, wear a mask or make-up that accompanies the costume, but Mardi Gras is also a gourmet party during which we eat donuts, bugnes or even wonders depending on the regions. Why do we dress up on Mardi Gras? Where does this party come from and what is the difference with Carnival? Here is 10 things to know about Mardi Gras.
What is the origin of Mardi Gras?
Originally, Mardi Gras was a pagan Roman festival that celebrated the end of winter and therefore the arrival of spring. In the Roman calendar, this day was also the occasion to break the prohibitions by dressing up and eating more than necessary. Mardi gras was then taken up in the Christian tradition to be associated with Lent. For Christians, Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and restriction that ends on Easter Sunday. Mardi gras precedes “Ash Wednesday” which is the first day of Lent.
What is the difference between Mardi Gras and Carnival?
Mardi Gras and Carnival are two closely related celebrations. They have one thing in common, that of falling during “the week of the seven fat days”, just before a time of fasting (Lent). Another similarity between the two festivals: the festive side as well as the disguises of young and old. Finally, Mardi Gras marks the last day when food and amusement bans do not exist.
Why is this day called “Mardi Gras”, what does it mean?
Why is the party called “Mardi Gras”? In Italian, Mardi gras is called “Carnevale”, a word that comes from “carne levare” (literally “to remove the meat”), which refers to the “lean” days that will follow. During this period, Christians eat neither eggs nor meat. This is why Mardi Gras day is marked by a plenty of meats and pastries (hence the name “bold”).
What are the traditions of Mardi Gras?
Today, Mardi Gras is celebrated in different ways around the world. In France, the tradition of Mardi Gras is to prepare sweet treats before eating them. Children also wear their best disguise, and sometimes even make-up, for fun.
All costumes are allowed for the occasion: a ladybug, a butterfly, a dinosaur, a superhero, a knight costume, a princess… Young and old enjoy putting themselves in the shoes of another character for a day. What if we looked at wild animals? Lion, tiger, panda or panther are popular costumes for Mardi Gras. Not to mention the disguises clown, magician and mermaid… Here are some costume ideas to make yourself or to shop to give you ideas:
Donuts, bugnes, waffles… What do we eat at Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras is also known for its sweet culinary traditions. In the past, it was a question of using the reserves of butter, oil and eggs so as not to waste them during the fasting period of Lent. From, on the day of Mardi Gras we traditionally eat pancakes, waffles or donuts (and all its regional variations!).
Is Mardi Gras a public holiday?
No, Mardi Gras is not a public holiday. It does not appear in the list of legal holidays designated as public holidays. As specified by Ministry of Labor website, “holidays are the legal holidays listed in article L. 3133-1 of the Labor Code: January 1, Easter Monday, January 1,erMay, May 8, Ascension, Whit Monday, July 14, Assumption (August 15), All Saints Day, November 11, December 25.”
What are Mardi gras sayings?
Several sayings And proverbs refer to Mardi Gras and its customs. Here are some examples:
- “At Mardi Gras, winter goes away.”
- “Mardi gras in the rain, winter flees.”
- “Mardi Gras don’t go away! I’ll make pancakes and eat them for you!”
- “On Mardi-Gras evening, you have to dance on manure to get turnips”