Fat Tuesday is the last big celebration before Ash Wednesday, and today is the day!  If you're going to wear purple, green, and gold beads, it's good to know what they mean.

Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, and it's always 47 days before Easter.  It falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which kicks off Lent.  So, Mardi Gras is the last big wild hoorah before settling down into a pattern of well-behaved peace, calm, and good decision-making during Lent.

The colors of Mardi Gras are green, gold, and purple. For more than one hundred and fifty years, groups called “krewes” organize parades in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras, and the colors were introduced by the Krewe of Rex, over a century ago.

The New Orleans Mardi Gras website reveals the meaning behind the colors.

Purple represents justice.

Green represents faith.

Gold represents power.

Two Louisiana colleges may have taken their school colors from Mardi Gras traditions. Legend has it that when LSU was deciding on its colors the stores around town had stocked up on purple, green, and gold because Mardi Gras was happening. LSU decided on purple and gold, and Tulane took the leftover green.

Today is a good day to eat a king cake and drink a hurricane, and forget that it's 25 degrees outside.  After a year of cancellations, we've got somethin' to celebrate.

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