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Fat Tuesday Party Roots Reach Back to Catholic Church

May 13, 2008
Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras are most likely is never thought of as being rooted in any church let alone the Catholic Church. Its loud its raucous and its as far from the church as possible.

In many ways the roots of the holiday have been forgotten and it has become a very secular celebration that is sometimes on the edge of good judgment. Most of all it's become one large party and a exclamation point on the decay within our society. But it is amazing to look back and wonder how did we get to this point?

The original roots of Mardi Gras started as the last day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is a clear symbol of the start of lent where Christians, not just catholics are reminded of their roots. As the penitential season of Lent begins Fat Tuesday is the last day to be rowdy and decadent before the solemn season of Lent begins. Keeping with tradition, at the stroke of Midnight, the lavish and outrageous party ends and somber season of Lent begins.

In the early days of New Orleans Mardi Gras was also celebrated with masked balls and parties up though the 1700s. The Spanish Government came in during their control of the city and banned these celebration types. However, once the United States acquired the territory, the parties started right back up, with the 1827 being the first year the Mardi Gras celebration was back in full swing.

The colors of Mardi gras are usually though of to be green, purple and gold. But most do not know that those colors are also rooted in the Catholic Church. The colors were applied in 1840. The colors they choose were picked because green was faith, purple was for justice and gold conveyed power. Purple is also the penitential color of the church as well.
The name fat Tuesday was chosen by the French and as part of the tradition of slaughtering a calf on the last day of Carnival. The day is also known as Shrove Tuesday, derived from to hear confessions. An additional name for Fat Tuesday and still celebrated especially among the Germans and Pennsylvania Dutch is Fetter Dienstag and it.s the making of pancakes and donuts to use up the dairy products before the fasting of lent begins.

So although Mardi Gras was often thought to be a pagan type holiday it really is deeply rooted in Catholicism.
About the Author
Beth carries many Lenten Supplies including many Lenten Liturgical Supplies.
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