We all know that Mardi Gras involves parades, fatty foods and colorful beads. But not all of us know its actual history.
In the U.S., Mardi Gras has evolved to become a worldwide recognized holiday with people traveling from all over the globe to take part in the week-long celebration in New Orleans that includes masks, dancing, beads, parades and traditional foods like gumbo, King Cake and Paczki.
According to mardigrasday.com, the popular holiday began when a French king sent his men to defend the French territories in the U.S. As they began to inhabit Louisiana, they colonized an area they named Point Du Margi Gras. As the area blossomed, Mardi Gras (which is French for Fat Tuesday) became the name of the celebration the day before Lent began.
In essence, Fat Tuesday marks the last chance to indulge in sugary temptations before fasting begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts until the end of Lent.
Here's a fun fact: the traditional beads handed out during Mardi Gras - in purple, green and gold - actually hold a special meaning! The purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power.