When is Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year? How long does it last?
Mardi Gras celebrations take place annually beginning 6 January with the majority of events concentrated in the two weeks leading up to “Shrove Tuesday”.
Mardi Gras celebrations take place annually around the world, but by far the best known is in New Orleans. The celebrations kick off on 6 January but the majority of events take place in the two weeks leading up to “Shrove Tuesday” the culmination of the revelry.
This year Mardi Gras, which translates to “Fat Tuesday”, falls on 21 February. The date varies from year to year depending on when Easter is celebrated which in turn establishes the beginning of the Christian observance of Lent. The 40-day period when Christians give up a chosen luxury and fast commences at midnight of Ash Wednesday the day after Shrove Tuesday.
In order to avoid temptation, prior to this solemn remembrance of Jesus Christ’s 40 days spent in the desert fasting and enduring temptation by Satan, cupboards are emptied of fatty delectables and people indulge themselves with feasting and revelry.
Mardi Gras 2023 in New Orleans
This year Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans began on 6 January, the Epiphany, with a series of parades. These became nearly a daily feature in The Big Easy in February ramping up in the two weeks before Shrove Tuesday. The weekend after Fat Tuesday will see the final Mardi Gras parades take place in New Orleans.
How is the date for Mardi Gras determined
As mentioned, Mardi Gras is determined by when Easter is celebrated during the year. That date in turn is determined by the first full moon after the spring equinox, being the following Sunday. Easter can thus be in either March or April depending on the lunar cycle each year.
Thus, that means that Mardi Gras can be in either February or March as Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which falls 46 days before Easter. Technically, Lent is supposed to be 40 days and end on Holy Thursday. But since Sundays don’t count as days of fasting, in order to get the numbers to work some rejigging needed to be done.
Mardi Gras Dates