Mardi Gras, the French term for “Fat Tuesday”, marks the final day that food lovers may indulge in their fatty snacks of choice before the ritual fasting known as Lent. While Mardi Gras technically had its start in religion, the vibe of current-day Mardi Gras celebrations is anything but holy.
Mardi Gras has made a name for itself as a time to engage in all sorts of questionable (at best) behavior before swapping the debauchery for more pious—and less liver damaging—activities over the six weeks of Lent. In the United States in particular, Mardi Gras has become synonymous with drinking and promiscuity. Not everyone joins the party, though. At its core, Mardi Gras is still a time-honored, religious-based family celebration, with highlights including festive and colorful parades, and of course one last chance to partake in consuming the decadent foods we love.