Mardi Gras Day
Also known as "fat Tuesday," this pre-Lenten festival is celebrated in Roman Catholic countries and communities. In a strict sense, Mardi Gras, is celebrated by the French as the last of the three days of Shrovetide and is a time of preparation immediately before Ash Wednesday and the start of the fast of Lent. Mardi Gras is thus the last opportunity for merrymaking and indulgence in food and drink. Mardi Gras is marked by spectacular parades featuring floats, pageants, elaborate costumes, masked balls, and people dancing in the streets. The most famous modern Mardi Gras festivities are those held in New Orleans, La.; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Nice, France; and Cologne, Germany.
The first American Mardi Gras was celebrated near modern-day New Orleans on March 3, 1699. The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold (representing justice, faith and power)