Mardi Gras

February 18, 2015

Mardi Gras is celebrated around the world, but today we’d like to teach you bit of French to help get you in the mood!

Le mardi gras is literally Fat Tuesday in French, and is also knows as le carneval. It is a Christian holiday but a popular cultural phenomenon and dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Mardi Gras is celebrated around the world – mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations – on the day before the religious season of Lent begins.

Les dates de mardi gras

Mardi Gras takes place 46 days before Easter, le Pâques, which usually falls between February 3 and March 9. Mardi Gras is the day before le carême or Lent and begins on Ash Wednesday, le mercredi des Cendres.

The infamous party in la Nouvelle-Orléans or New Orleans is quite the celebration but it’s also celebrated across Europe and the Americas.

Did you know?

Rex, one of the oldest Mardi Gras krewes, has been participating in parades since 1872, and established purple, gold and green as the iconic Mardi Gras colors.


Mardi gras colors!
Purple (justice) Gold (power) Green (faith)
le violet l’or le vert
Le vocabulaire de mardi gras —  Mardi Gras vocabulary
une babiole trinket
un bal masqué costume ball
un bijou jewel
le capitaine captain
un char float
un collier necklace
un costume costume
le courir Mardi gras run
une couronne crown
un défilé parade
un déguisement disguise
un doublon doubloon
une effigie effigy
un feu de joie bonfire
un flambeau torch
la foule crowd
un krewe krewe (Mardi gras organizer)
un mardi gras  a person who really gets into celebrating the holiday
le masque mask
une paillette sequin
une perle bead
la plume feather
la reine queen
le roi king




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