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 Word OriginFrench, literally ‘fat Tuesday’, referring to the last day of feasting before the fast of Lent. 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.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Mardi Gras