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Dale’s Daily Data: Fat Tuesday

New Orleans celebrates the end of Mardi Gras with the Fat Tuesday parade (Getty Images)

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is the annual festival New Orleans is famous for.  Sometimes known as Shrove Tuesday – it’s a legal holiday in New Orleans.  Mardi Gras is French – Mardi meaning Tuesday.  Gras meaning Fat.   

It’s the final day of festivities that begin each year on January 6th, the Twelfth Night of the Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings are supposed to have visited the Christ Child.  The celebration goes until midnight tonight when Ash Wednesday and Lent begins.  Kind of like a last call before Lent – a chance to eat or drink some of your favorite things before giving them up for six and a half weeks.

One of the traditions of Mardi Gras is the exchange of beads.  When a guy gives beads to a girl, she has to do something in exchange for him.  And the other way around too.

They say the celebrations and parties sometimes get so wild, that restaurant and store owners along Bourbon Street coat poles and columns with Vaseline to keep people from climbing them.

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