When Is Mardi Gras 2023? Here's Why the Date Changes Every Year

Mardi Gras is a celebration like no other. After all, when else can you don sparkly headdresses, dance in the streets, and throw beads from windows for multiple weeks in a row? This fun holiday comes with plenty of other perks, too, including delicious Mardi Gras food, festive music, and even its own color palette of purple, green, and gold. But before you start stocking up on beads and making king cakes (our recipe is a must-try 😉), read on for everything you need to know about Mardi Gras 2023, including why it's celebrated, when it begins, and how long it lasts.

What is Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday?

when is mardi gras 2023
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Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday that dates back centuries. It's celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in preparation for Lent, a season of repentance leading up to Easter. Historically, on Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday ("Mardi" is the French word for Tuesday, and "gras" means “fat"), Christians were encouraged to eat all the beef, bread, and other foods left in their homes before the 40 days of Lent.

Over the centuries, Mardi Gras evolved into an extravagant celebration celebrated all around the world. New Orleans is famously known for putting on the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the U.S.

When is Mardi Gras 2023?

Mardi Gras begins precisely 47 days before Easter. Since Easter falls on a different Sunday every year, Mardi Gras also has a variable date. This year, Mardi Gras will begin on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.

When is Mardi Gras celebrated in New Orleans?

Mardi Gras may start on February 21 this year, but that's certainly not when it ends (or when the celebrations begin)! In New Orleans, most of the Mardi Gras festivities take place during the two weeks leading up to the actual date. In fact, some of the biggest celebrations typically happen two weekends in advance. The celebrations also continue well after Fat Tuesday. New Orleans' official schedule for the holiday can be found on the Mardi Gras New Orleans website.

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