A Guide to Carnival and Mardi Gras in New Orleans
by Jenny Peters
If you’re lucky enough to be spending Mardi Gras in the Big Easy, make sure to read this primer first. “Carnival” describes the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras Day (also known as Fat Tuesday), the day before Lent, the Catholic time of atonement, begins. And while some in New Orleans use that term, most just call all of the season of revelry “Mardi Gras.” It actually begins on Epiphany, January 6; but the big celebrations and major parades really happen in the last two weeks leading into Mardi Gras Day (which is a city-wide holiday in NOLA).