Every year I get a calendar reminder that Fat Tuesday is upon us again. But I wondered how in today’s society that obsesses with calorie counting we are still celebrating a holiday called “Fat Tuesday?” I knew I was onto something, so I decided to dive in deeper in the history of that holiday!

The French’s translation for Fat Tuesday is Mardi Gras, which came as a surprise to me to discover that the popular holiday mainly observed in New Orleans is also known by the name “Carnival.” The holiday is celebrated through dancing, wearing beats, and tasting cakes! And if you are anything like me, craving sweets most of the day, then you better indulge yourself with some today, because Fat Tuesday aka Mardi Gras marks the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday.  Yes, and Lent is 40 days too! No wonder we have to celebrate with dancing and eating cakes, because for the next 40 days say goodbye to fatty foods!

And though we celebrate food and fruitfulness, Mardi Gras actually has deep religious roots. According to history, French explorer, Jean Baptiste de Bienville, started the holiday near a spot in New Orleans, he named, “Pointe due Mardi Gras,” back in 1699. The holiday has been altered since then, now it even has official colors: purple stands for justice, green is faith, and gold represents power. But besides the bright colors, the music, and people taking to the streets, Mardi Gras also is famous for King’s Cake. The tale goes on to say, that a baby Jesus is usually baked in a cake and whoever eats it will have a good luck for the rest of the year.

So, get out there tonight, enjoy the last day of guilty free foods you crave! What are you giving up for Lent join our discussion on Facebook?