Fat Tuesday

What began as the last day for Christians to indulge before Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, now draws millions of fun seekers to New Orleans every year. However, New Orleans is not the only place that celebrates this holiday.The Jolly Fox will have a Fat Tuesday party featuring $1 hurricanes and $1 wells all night. Sneed Wheelers Texas Roadhouse is hosting Roger Creager and will pass out beads, a traditional Mardi Gras souvenir, and have its normal drink specials, according to co-owner Gary Heyne. The Delts will be at Humphreys and another fraternity will be at Quarters partying Mardi Gras style. Beads will also be given out at Quarters and special drink prices will be in effect.Mardi Gras is a Catholic holiday, based on traditions of pagan holidays that emphasized excessive eating, drinking and general lewdness before a period of fasting to satisfy those appetites. Mardi Gras is the day before Lent, a time when Catholics must make sacrifices for the six weeks prior to Easter.Mardi Gras is celebrated with masked balls, colorful parades, crazy costumes and wild make-up. French royals, feather-covered showgirls, Energizer bunnies, painted clowns, masked lionsyou can find them all (and countless others) in the streets of New Orleans at Mardi Gras. By dawn on Fat Tuesday, people have claimed the best spots on the streets to watch fabulous floats, outrageous performers and visiting celebrities go by. Many travel hundreds of miles to be a part of the excitement. Historians believe Mardi Gras was celebrated in New Orleans as early as the 1700s but by 1806 the festivities had gotten so rowdy that the celebrations were forbidden and in 1817 masks were declared illegal. However, because the laws were ignored, in 1823 Creoles finally got Americans to reinstate the balls.The throwing of trinkets to the crowds was started in the early 1870s and is a time-honored expectation for young and old alike. Other popular throws include bikini underwear, long pearl beads and stuffed animals. People will go to extremes to catch these trinkets. From displaying the craziest costume to displaying their bodies, spectators fight for the most charms.While traveling to New Orleans will give you the ultimate Mardi Gras experience, wherever you are, eat as much as you can, drink as much as you can and party as hard as you can. This is the true spirit of Fat Tuesday.

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