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How Mardi Gras is celebrated around the world

Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages North America/AFP

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 02/25/20

Whether you call it Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, or Mardi Gras, different places celebrate in different ways, but it's always festive!

Mardi Gras. Shrovetide. Fat Tuesday. Pancake Day. It goes by many names, but whatever you call it, it’s a day Catholics love to celebrate. Traditionally, this is the day when people indulge in whatever they’re giving up for Lent, most commonly desserts.

Lent itself has a long and fascinating history. Observance of it has varied so much over the centuries that some historians describe it as a “choose your own adventure” liturgical season.

In some places Christians only fasted on weekdays, while in other places people fasted even on Sundays but for fewer weeks, and some places observed a three-week fast instead of the six-week fast we follow today. The one consistent thing is that fasts were a lot more intense in earlier times.

This variety continues today to some extent, as each person is free to choose his or her own Lenten sacrifice, and is especially apparent in the many different ways that Christians around the world celebrate Mardi Gras. The day is honored with all manner of revelry and excitement, and always with some delicious treats!

Here are some of the most memorable ways that Mardi Gras is celebrated around the world.

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