Mardi Gras comes early in 2024. Why does the date of Fat Tuesday change each year?
It’s one of the most anticipated and historic times of the year in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.
It’s parades, king cake and Perlis shirts striped in purple, green and gold.
It’s glitter, glitz and glam — and a little grunge, too.
It’s Mardi Gras, and it’s celebrated like the divine holiday it is along the coast.
Mardi Gras is both a day and a season. The season, called Carnival, always begins on Twelfth Night, for the 12th day after Christmas. The date is Jan. 6.
The question of where Mardi Gras began pops up again and again among those curious about Louisiana culture. We’d be delighted to report that t…
Carnival ends on Mardi Gras, the French phrase for Fat Tuesday. That’s always the day before Ash Wednesday, which signifies the beginning of the Lenten season leading to Easter.
So why does the date for Fat Tuesday change? Because it’s connected to the date of Easter, which itself varies, according to New Orleans Mardi Gras historian Arthur Hardy.
In most Christian denominations, Easter may fall on any Sunday from March 23 to April 25, depending on the date of the first full moon after the spring equinox. Mardi Gras falls 47 days before Easter, and thus may occur any Tuesday from Feb. 3 through March 9, Hardy explains.
In 2024, Mardi Gras and Easter are early. Fat Tuesday is Feb. 13, and Easter falls March 31.
Check out Nola.com’s list of 2024 Mardi Gras season parades.
The whistling, whirling Zulu Tramps will be in the vanguard of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade on Mardi Gras morning, Feb. 21, 2023. But on Jan. 6, New Orleans got a preview of their antics, when the kinetic costumers led Mayor LaToya to her Kings Day press conference.
(Video by Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)