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What Is Fat Tuesday?

The French call it Mardi Gras

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Ruby Gallagos holds a handful of beads before a Mardi Gras parade. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ruby Gallagos holds a handful of beads before the start of the Excalibur Mardi Gras parade February 17, 2006, in Metairie, Louisiana.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Definition: Fat Tuesday is the traditional name for the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It is more commonly known as Mardi Gras, which is simply Fat Tuesday in French. It gets its name from the custom, in many Catholic countries, of marking the day with feasting before the fasting season of Lent begins.

Planning a Fat Tuesday party? Check out this great list of Fat Tuesday recipes!

Since Fat Tuesday is the same day as Mardi Gras, you can find the date of Fat Tuesday in this and future years in When Is Mardi Gras?

Pronunciation: fat ˈt(y)oōzˌdā

Also Known As: Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Paczki Day

Common Misspellings: Phat Tuesday

Examples: "On the day before Ash Wednesday, we throw a Fat Tuesday party."

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