Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season for some Christians around the world. It began in Europe and famous Carnival celebrations take place in France, Venice and Brazil each year. Since Lent is a period of sacrifice the idea is to indulge on the day before you have to start fasting or giving up luxuries.
New Orleans hosts the largest celebration in the United States each year (though the first one was actually held in Mobile, Ala. in 1703). The season is marked by balls and parades put together by krewes, all culminating on Mardi Gras day when the Zulu and Rex parades roll down St. Charles Avenue.
Shelby Holliday went to New Orleans to learn more about the holiday. Check out photos of parade floats, get the scoop on some Mardi Gras traditions and learn about one of the city’s most famous marching bands below.