The Big Easy - Mardi Gras
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Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”) is actually the culmination of an entire season of celebration known as Carnival. It begins just before the New Year, with balls, concerts, and other special events running all the way up until Mardi Gras, which is the day before Catholic Lent begins. While it’s keyed to the Catholic calendar, what many don’t know is that it’s actually a descendant of ancient Roman festivals.

There are several organizations, called Krewes, that host the various events during Carnival season. Some of these are public, but most, like the Comus Krewe, subscribe to strict secrecy in its membership and activities. Other Krewe names include Momus, Hermes, Proteus, and Orleans.

The famous parades of Mardi Gras begin the Thursday prior, with the parade and ball of the Krewe of Momus. A weekend of further parades and balls leads into Mardi Gras, which is always on a Tuesday. The wearing of masks for which the festival is most famous occurs during the many parades and parties held that day.

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