It’s that time of year again, where the Cajuns say “Laissez les bons temps rouler” – let the good times roll! Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a time to celebrate and indulge before the start of Lent in the Catholic Christian world.
What is Lent?
Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and preparation for the Easter season on the Christian calendar. It’s a time for reflection, prayer, and sacrifice, as Catholics prepare for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. The Tuesday before the start of Lent has become a time for people to let loose and party, indulging in their favorite foods and activities before giving them up for Lent.
When is Mardi Gras 2023?
This year, Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 21. Lent begins the following day, on Ash Wednesday, February 22, and runs through Wednesday, April 5, 2023. Holy Thursday, marking the beginning of the Easter season, falls on April 6, 2023.
What does the Catholic Church say about Lent?
According to Pope Francis, “Jesus is himself the way, and therefore, both in the liturgical journey (of Lent) and in the journey of the synod, the church does nothing other than enter ever more deeply and fully into the mystery of Christ the savior.” The faithful usually observe fasting on Fridays of Lent. This can include refraining from eating meat on Fridays. The tradition encourages Catholics to eat only one meal on Fridays, and many Catholic churches offer Fish Fry meals each Friday evening of Lent.
Celebrate Mardi Gras While You Can
Mardi Gras is a time to celebrate and let loose before the start of Lent. Whether you’re in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, or your own hometown, take some time to indulge in your favorite foods and activities, and let the good times roll. And when Lent begins, take the opportunity to reflect, pray, and make sacrifices as you prepare for the Easter season.