Date of the Mardi Gras season explained
The origin of "Fat Tuesday" is believed to have come from the ancient Pagan custom of parading a fat ox through the town streets. Such Pagan holidays were filled with excessive eating, drinking and general bawdiness prior to a period of fasting.
Since the modern-day Carvinal season is sandwiched between Christmas and Lent, with Christmas Day being December 25 on the Gregorian Calendar as set by the Roman Catholic Church, this means that other Holy Days are "floating" in nature. Easter always falls on a Sunday, but it can be any Sunday from March 23 through April 25, its actual date being the Sunday which follows the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox.
Mardi Gras is always 47 days prior to this alloted Sunday (the 40 days of Lent plus seven Sundays). The beginning of the Carnival season itself, however, is also fixed, being January 6, which is the Feast of the Ephiphany, otherwise known as Little Christmas or Twelfth Night. Since the date of Mardi Gras thus varies, the length of the Carnival season also varies accordingly from year-to-year.
The origin of the word "Carvinal" is from the Latin for "farewell to the flesh," a time when one is expected to forgo earthly pleasures prior to the restrictions of the Lenten Season, and is thought to be derived from the feasts of the Middle Ages known as carnis levamen or "solace of the flesh."
Future Mardi Gras Dates:
- 2014 Mardi Gras: March 4
- 2015 Mardi Gras: February 17
- 2016 Mardi Gras: February 9
- 2017 Mardi Gras: February 28
- 2018 Mardi Gras: February 13
- 2019 Mardi Gras: March 5
- 2020 Mardi Gras: February 25
- 2021 Mardi Gras: February 16
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