Mardi Gras

Host your own unforgettable Mardi Gras party with these top tips!

Ring in spring with a fun and festive Mardi Gras celebration this year. Mardi Gras celebrations date back to 1699 in America, most notably in the Gulf States. This grand party in the Southern region, especially in the city of New Orleans, is attributed to the French heritage and influence felt there.

A Christian festival, Mardi Gras takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday, always falling between February 3rd and March 9th. Literally translated, Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" in French, and the name comes from the tradition of slaughtering and feasting on a fattened calf on the last day of Carnival.

Though less known, the day is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from to shrive, or hear confessions) or Pancake Tuesday because the custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before Lent and a period of fasting begins.

This year, Mardi Gras will be on February 21, 2012, so break out your party beads and cloak your house in dark purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power). Pull out you jazz collection – you can check out New Orleans Brass Band music or Zydeco – and let the fun begin.

From crafty Mardi Gras bead ideas to themed cocktail recipes and lots of fun history, we have plenty of ideas to make your Mardi Gras celebration a fun time for all.

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