Student Dictionary

One entry found for Mardi Gras.
Main Entry: Mar·di Gras
Pronunciation: primarystressmärd-emacron-secondarystressgrä
Function: noun
Etymology: French, literally "fat Tuesday"
: the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday often observed with parades and merrymaking
Word History The Christian period of fasting known as Lent begins every year on Ash Wednesday. The day before Lent begins is a time of celebration and feasting in many places. One of the original reasons for such feasting was probably to use up the last supplies of foods, such as meat and fat, which were not eaten during Lent. The eating of such foods may be why the day became known in France as Mardi Gras, which means "fat Tuesday." It is also possible that the name comes from a former custom of parading a fattened ox through Paris on this day.

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