Mardi Gras

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Borrowed from French mardi gras (literally fat Tuesday).

Proper noun[edit]

Mardi Gras

  1. The day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, when traditionally all fat and meat in the house were finished up, before Christians were banned from eating them during Lent, which commenced the following day on Ash Wednesday.
    • 1839 (UK), Marguerite Blessington, The idler in Italy, Henry Colburn, p. 299,
      Mardi-gras was ushered in with various ceremonies, offering a strange mixture of devotion and profaneness.
    • 1847 (UK), John Macgregor, The Progress of America: From the Discovery by Columbus to the Year 1846, Whittaker & Co., p. 88,
      Dancing, fiddling, and feasting at Christmas and on Mardi-gras, before Lent, and feasting at or after Easter, are among their amusements or indulgences.
    • 2007 (US), Ace Collins, Stories Behind the Traditions And Stories of Easter, Zondervan, →ISBN, p. 113,
      Today's wild Mardi Gras parades are much different than the original, more religious events of the Middle Ages.
  2. The last day of a carnival, traditionally the celebration immediately before the start of Lent when joy would be out of place for Christians.
    • 1823 (UK), Thomas Tryatall, The Parisian Carnival, read in The New Monthly Magazine, and Literary Journal, Oliver Everett, p. 90,
      "Masks!" exclaimed I; "why, it isn't carnival time, is it?" "To be sure 'tis," replied he, "dis is Mardi gras, de gayest of de gay days. Noting but pleasure, and fun, and hosh-posh."
    • 1825 (UK), Thomas Colley Grattan, The Vouée au Blanc read in High-Ways and By-Ways, or, Tales of the Roadside: Picked Up in the French Provinces by a Walking Gentleman: Second Series: Volume III, Henry Colburn, p. 80,
      Every body knows what an important epoch Mardi Gras forms in the annual enjoyments of the French. It is the last day of the carnival gaieties, and that which precedes the gloominess of Lent.
    • 1832 (UK), Georgina Alicia L, Chantilly, Vol. III, Edward Bull, p. 214,
      Who could have believed, that saw her on the night of the Mardi Gras amid the revels at the Palace, seemingly joyous and happy as youth and innocence could make her, far excelling in loveliness all the fair dames gathered round her, that envy and hatred, and hot desire of revenge, were all hid beneath that seemingly guileless smile and treacherous abandon?
    • 2006 (US), Kristin G. Congdon, Tina Bucuvalas, Just Above the Water: Florida Folk Art, University Press of Mississippi, →ISBN, p. 6,
      As a result, Mardi Gras, the culmination of the Carnival season pre-ceding Lent, is observed in Pensacola.
    • 2007 (Australia), Ryan ver Berkmoes, Western Europe, Lonely Planet, →ISBN, p. 1007,
      The carnival moves through raucous celebrations climaxing on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), and is over on Ash Wednesday.
  3. A carnival.
    • 1868 (US), Charles Swett, A Trip to British Honduras, and to San Pedro, Republic of Honduras, Dollar Price, p. 70,
      Mardi Gras has been in operation here for the past two weeks, and on Monday last the Trudor sports should have commenced.
    • 2007 (Australia), Paul Smitz, Berry Blake, Australian Language & Culture, Lonely Planet, →ISBN, p. 101,
      SYDNEY GAY & LESBIAN MARDI GRAS Not just a famously spectacular parade and an all-night dance party in Oxford Street, this is a month-long festival in February that also features theatre, art, photography and music in a celebration of gay and lesbian life.