When is Mardi Gras and why is it called Fat Tuesday?
New Orleans is hosting one of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations this year. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Mardi Gras is a day that attracts thousands of tourists each year with many people wanting to experience the bright, energetic celebrations.

It has built a reputation for producing the biggest parades of the year, with amazing masks, costumes and floats.

Here is everything you need to know about Mardi Gras.

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What is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday that takes place the day before Ash Wednesday.

It is considered the last day of the Carnival season, before the beginning of Lent and it has been recorded as far back as the 17th and 18th century.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 9: A reveler makes his way through the French Quarter during Mardi Gras day on February 9, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras in French, is a celebration traditionally held before the observance of Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Christian Lenten season. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
A reveler memorable mask from Mardi Gras 2016 in New Orleans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The event is celebrated across the world with Brazil’s Rio Carnival one of the most famous celebrations as it lasts for six days, making it a tourist hot-spot each year.

New Orleans, Louisiana has become particularly well-known for its impressive parades and it even hosts celebrations during the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras.

In the UK the day is known as Shrove Tuesday but tends to be a less flamboyant affair.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 26: Southern University Marching Band performs in the 2017 Krewe of Bacchus parade on February 26, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
Mardi Gras celebrations can last several weeks. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Why is it called Fat Tuesday?

Fat Tuesday is the English translation for the the French phrase ‘Mardi Gras’.

It is to reflect Christians being able to indulge in food before they begin their fast for Lent the following day.

When is Mardi Gras 2017?

This year the event is on Tuesday 28th February, although festivities often begin on the weekend leading up to the day.

It signals the end of the carnival season and always ends the day before Ash Wednesday.

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