Mardi Gras Season is Here!

Caleb Mills, Staff Writer

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Mardi Gras started a carnival celebration after Three King Day and ended before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras directly translates to Fat Tuesday, which also reflects the practice of eating fatty foods before fasting for Lenten.

Mardi Gras is tied with the pagan festival Saturnalia – a festival for fertility and springtime. The festival honored the Roman god of agriculture Saturn. After the influence of Christianity and the revelation of Christ, the festival began to practice as it is commonly known.

Originally brought to North America by the French Catholics, Mardi Gras was widely celebrated in the French Quarters. The tradition was introduced by King Louis XIV when he sent the Le Moyne brothers to claim the Louisiana territory which was at the time considered  Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana and eastern Texas. The exploration started at the mouth of the Mississippi River and went upstream to a place a little south from the New Orleans we know today. They settled on March 3, 1699 as the day of Mardi Gras and this spot was named Point du Mardi Gras. The explorers continued to follow the river west and settle the area now known as Mobile and named it the first capital of French Louisiana in 1702. In 1703 the settlers of mobile hosted the first celebration of Mardi Gras in the United States.