Why do people celebrate Mardi Gras?


Quick Answer

People celebrate Mardi Gras for a variety of reasons that are typically motivated by their religious beliefs. For those who take part in a strict adherence to Lent, Mardi Gras is a way of enjoying excessive quantities of food and drink prior to a period of fasting and denial, with the idea being that the days of excess may make the period of denial easier to tolerate. Lent is a time of fasting and personal denial that is intended to prepare Christians for Easter, which is one of the most important holidays in this religious tradition.

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Why do people celebrate Mardi Gras?
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Full Answer

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is part of the Carnival season; though these holidays have many secular aspects, they are part of a period of excess that is intended to come before the Lenten season that is part of many Christian traditions, especially within the Catholic Church. Carnival and Mardi Gras are celebratory occasions that include the consumption of large quantities of food and alcohol in addition to public events such as parades and dancing. This is related to several Mardi Gras traditions, including the practice of wearing a mask to hide one's identity, which would theoretically allow the wearer to unabashedly engage in excess without facing social shame.

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