Mardi Gras in French means “Fat Tuesday.” The slogan above is French for “Let the good times roll.” Verna and I visited “Noo Awlins” in October of 1998 and picked up on some of the jargon while we were there. New Orleans is, to say the least, a very interesting place. We were not in town during Mardi Gras, however, and were able to see the town relatively unabated by the enormous crowds that would appear a few months later.
The Mardi Gras festival takes place on the last day before Ash Wednesday which is when Lent begins. The word “Carnival,” is derived from middle Latin “Carne Vale” for “good-bye to meat.” So, today is that Fat Tuesday — let the day of feasting begin.
Actually, we celebrated Mardi Gras a few days early when we enjoyed a bowl of Gumbo, a traditional Southern stew consisting of chicken, Andouille Sausage, shrimp, okra and other vegetables in a spicy broth. Clickable image below taken from the Food Blog.
Here is more about Fat Tuesday from Britannica.com
Mardi Gras, (French: Fat Tuesday) festive day celebrated in France on Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday), which marks the close of the pre-Lenten season. The French name Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, from the custom of using all the fats in the home before Lent in preparation for fasting and abstinence.
In the United States the principal Carnival celebration is in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Carnival season there opens on Twelfth Night (Epiphany, January 6) and climaxes with the Mardi Gras festivities commencing 10 days before Shrove Tuesday. This period is filled with elaborate revelrous parades, both day and night, building up to Mardi Gras and the Rex parade. Beads of yellow, gold, green, and purple are commonly distributed, and the eating of king cake is an iconic part of the celebration.