Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

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.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.