It’s time to laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll), the Cajun phrase which captures the essence of Mardi Gras. The 2015 carnival takes place on February 17, and the festivities are already in full swing. Most people know that Mardi Gras is a Catholic tradition of reveling before Lent, the 40 days of sacrifice leading up to Easter. However, there’s more to this holiday beyond the bacchanalian brouhaha in New Orleans. Want to know all about Mardi Gras? Here are some fun facts and surprising details about this quirky celebration.
1. Mardi Gras Is More Than a One Day Event
There’s a whole Carnival season that begins on January 6th, which is the Twelfth Night after Christmas marked by the Feast of Epiphany. In the southern States where Mardi Gras is big, there are weeks of food, parties, masquerade balls, parades and merriment leading up to the big Tuesday finale.