Seems we all know that Mardi Gras is a day of celebration and frivolity – a time to let the good times roll!  But, where did this day of decadence come from and how is it celebrated?

Also known as Carnival and, less commonly, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras literally means “fat Tuesday” (as you Francophiles know!) and has been celebrated in the U.S. most notably in New Orleans. Carnival is celebrated across Europe and Latin America with colorful parades and playful ribaldry as a last hurrah before the Christian season of Lent, when penitence and atonement take center stage.

So, how should you prepare for the big day (tomorrow, btw)?  Try exploring books on the subject in the library’s collection. Venture down to the Friedheim Library at the Peabody Conservatory and listen to some New Orleans’ style Jazz on CD. Or, if you’re really ambitious and have the time, you may want to throw a party or cook a Mardi Gras feast.

Whatever you choose to do, remember: laissez les bon temps rouler!

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