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Mardi Gras - Definition of Mardi Gras

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New Orleans Holds Citywide Mardi Gras Celebration
Sean Gardner / Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Definition: Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday"—that is, the final day before the penitential season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. While Mardi Gras has no official status in the Catholic Church, it is a custom in many Catholic countries to mark the day with parties and feasting, in particular eating those foods from which one will fast during Lent.

Planning a Mardi Gras party? Check out this great list of Mardi Gras recipes!

You can find the date of Mardi Gras in this and future years in When Is Mardi Gras?

Pronunciation: ˈmärdē ˌgrä

Also Known As: Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Paczki Day

Common Misspellings: Marti Gras, Mardie Gras

Examples: "We're going to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras!"

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