Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, has a convoluted history starting as a Christian holiday in Rome. It spread throughout Europe and came to America with French explorers along the Gulf Coast, on both sides of New Orleans. The “fat” part refers to partaking of great food prior to Lent, the austere time observed by many Christians between Ash Wednesday and Easter. But, like many a celebration, it was expanded considerably and become heavily commercialized, neither of which diminishes the fun and frolic.
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