Things You Never Knew About Mardi Gras
Like its mysterious masks, costumes and secret krewe codes of conduct, the origins of Mardi Gras itself are shrouded in ambiguity. Donning disguises was meant to protect identities and allow for ultimate abandon without consequence during the heartiest party of the year. You see, Mardi Gras translates from French into “Fat Tuesday.” The Christian feasts of the Epiphany season lead up to Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, so Fat Tuesday makes sense as a final blowout. Probably due to the church’s prohibitions on meat and sex during Lent, the parties got more elaborate in Europe, then spread geographically and evolved into the modern pagan Carnival. Understandably, neither Catholic nor Protestant church leaders wanted historic responsibility, so Mardi Gras evolution is vague.