Mardi Gras is an unpredictable tradition, not only because of the gimmicks but also because of the dates.
The Mardi Gras future dates always depend on when Easter Sunday falls on the calendar.
For example, the future Mardi Gras falls on February 21 for 2023, February 13, 2024, March 4 for 2025, and so on.
When Does Mardi Gras Start?
The Carnival season starts during the King’s Day or the Feast of the Epiphany, which takes place on January 6.
However, you cannot say the same for Fat Tuesday because it is always different yearly.
After Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday.
Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday will depend on which Easter falls because of the full moon.
Easter can happen anytime from March 23 to April 25, so you need to count 47 days before to know when Mardi Gras is.
Learn more about the history of Mardi Gras here..
How Long is the Mardi Gras Celebration?
The celebration can last at least four weeks, starting from January during the King’s Day celebration until Fat Tuesday.
It can last longer, depending on when Easter happens, so it can reach up to eight weeks if the latest is April 25.
Once the clock hits midnight, the outdoor festivities halt, and the streets will be clear of activities as the lent season begins.
Why Are the Mardi Gras Dates Always Different?
Mardi Gras is 47 days before Easter Sunday and falls on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.
Easter next year is on April 9, the first Sunday after the spring equinox or the Paschal full moon.
It means that 47 days before that is February 21, which makes it the Mardi Gras 2023 observance.
You can expect the dates to land on February 3 being the earliest Mardi Gras and March 9 as the latest observance.
What to Do During Fat Tuesday?
Fat Tuesday is a day to have fun on the streets and eat a lot of food, as Lent Season is when you mostly do fasting.
Many people eat fatty and flavorful food like po’boys, beignets, pancakes, and more because they are heavy and delicious.
You can also watch colorful parades where people wear masks and vibrant costumes as they walk different streets.
While the first American Mardi Gras happened in 1699 in New Orleans, many believe the parades started in Mobile, Alabama.
By tradition, float riders wear masks to keep the mystery and to prevent discrimination when people from different classes mingle.
What Happens During Ash Wednesday?
After the eventful and colorful Mardi Gras on Tuesday, the atmosphere changes solemnly during Ash Wednesday.
It is the day you start confessing your sins and professing your devotion to God as a sign of repentance.
You will also attend a mass, and the priest will place ashes on your forehead in the shape of the cross.
Starting this day continuing for six weeks, you will need to fast and refrain from eating meat as you ask for forgiveness from God.
People celebrate Mardi Gras yearly to celebrate the Lenten Season festively and colorfully.
Families and friends gather to eat delicious food, watch extravagant parades, and listen to catchy music.
Mardi Gras has been a way for people to celebrate culture and religion, so join in the fun and create unforgettable memories.
You can check out the Mardi Gras parade schedule for 2023 here.