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Photo of Mardi Gras scenery, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1910
Mardi Gras scenery, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1910

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Mardi Gras Season in New Orleans
A Local Legacy

Do you celebrate Fat Tuesday? If you live in New Orleans, Louisiana, or any place else along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, you probably do.

Every year, the people of New Orleans celebrate Mardi Gras, which is French for "Fat Tuesday." This holiday is the day before Ash Wednesday, and it begins a season of fasting, called Lent, for many Christians leading up to Easter Sunday. It's called Fat Tuesday because it's the last day that many people eat meat and fatty foods before Lent begins.

Today, Mardi Gras season in New Orleans is a time of merry-making and festivity. Many clubs in the city, called krewes (pronounced "crews"), sponsor extravagant parades and masked balls in the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. It's a lot of fun to try to catch the trinkets that are thrown to the crowds from the parade floats. Every krewe has a king and queen, whose identities are kept secret until the night of the ball. It's all part of the fun and mystery of Mardi Gras.

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