WDAM - Mardi Gras, also called Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday, is a popular holiday celebrated all around the world.
The tradition dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations. It's held the day before the fasting season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
The first American Mardi Gras Parade took place on March 3, 1699. According to Mardi Gras New Orleans, French explorers Pierre Le Moyne d'lberville and Sieur de Bienville arrived at a spot near present-day New Orleans, and named it "Pointe du Mardi Gras."
- Mardi Gras is an official state holiday in Alabama, Florida, and parts of Louisiana.
- Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" in French.
- Mardi Gras is also known as "Pancake Day." In Ireland, Austrailia, New Zealand, and Canada, people celebrate Mardi Gras by eating pancakes and participating in pancake themed activities.
- Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday.
- The first floats appeared in parades in 1857.
- Mobile, AL was the first place in the United States to celebrate Mardi Gras, and now holds the second largest celebration after New Orleans.