Definition of Mardi Gras noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Mardi Gras

BrE BrE//ˌmɑːdi ˈɡrɑː//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɑːrdi ɡrɑː//
[uncountable] (from French) Religious holidays and festivals
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the day before the beginning of Lent, celebrated as a holiday in some countries, with music and dancing in the streets compare Shrove Tuesday See related entries: Religious holidays and festivals Culture Mardi Gras is a popular US carnival (= public festival) held in New Orleans during the week before the first day of Lent. Mardi Gras is French for 'Fat Tuesday', because it ends on Shrove Tuesday, a day when people traditionally eat a lot before the start of Lent. People come from around the world to see the parades (= processions), costumes, parties and decorations and Mardi Gras 'Kings' and 'Queens' are chosen. A few other US cities celebrate Mardi Gras and it is also celebrated in some Catholic countries. Word OriginFrench, literally ‘fat Tuesday’, referring to the last day of feasting before the fast of Lent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Mardi Gras