Mardi Gras, also known as “Fat Tuesday,” is a moveable holiday that is celebrated 47 days before Easter Sunday. In 2024, Easter Sunday will fall on April 7th. Therefore, Mardi Gras will be on Tuesday, February 13th, 2024.
Why isn’t Mardi Gras on the same day?
Mardi Gras is a moveable holiday because its date is tied to the date of Easter, which is also a moveable holiday. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon that occurs on or after the vernal equinox (the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere).
Since the date of the vernal equinox can vary, and the lunar cycle is not perfectly aligned with the solar calendar, the date of Easter can fall anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th. Therefore, the date of Mardi Gras can also vary, and it always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday.
So, while some holidays have fixed dates, such as Christmas on December 25th, Mardi Gras and Easter are examples of moveable holidays that have dates that depend on the lunar and solar calendars.
What’s an ecclesiastical full moon?
An ecclesiastical full moon, also known as a Paschal full moon, is a date that is calculated by a set of rules established by the Christian church for the purpose of determining the date of Easter.
According to these rules, the Paschal full moon is not necessarily an actual full moon that occurs in the sky, but rather a theoretical full moon that is calculated to fall on the 14th day of the lunar month. Specifically, the Paschal full moon is the 14th day of a lunar month that begins on or after the vernal equinox (the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere).
The date of the Paschal full moon is used to calculate the date of Easter, which is celebrated on the first Sunday following the Paschal full moon. This means that the date of Easter can fall anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th, depending on the date of the Paschal full moon and the rules used to calculate it.
So what does this have to do with Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras, also known as “Fat Tuesday,” is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the season of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar. Lent is a period of fasting, repentance, and spiritual discipline that lasts for 40 days and ends with the celebration of Easter.
Because the date of Easter is determined by the date of the Paschal full moon, which is in turn determined by the rules established by the Christian church, the date of Mardi Gras is also determined by these rules. Specifically, Mardi Gras falls 47 days before Easter, which is always a Tuesday.
So, since the date of Easter is a moveable holiday, the date of Mardi Gras is also moveable, and it can fall on any Tuesday between February 3rd and March 9th, depending on the date of Easter.
Here’s the Mardi Gras schedule for the next several years:
Certainly! Here are the dates for Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) for the next several years:
- 2022: March 1st
- 2023: February 21st
- 2024: February 20th
- 2025: March 4th
- 2026: February 17th
- 2027: February 9th
- 2028: February 29th
- 2029: February 13th
- 2030: March 5th
It’s worth noting that while Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter, the exact dates may vary depending on the rules used to calculate the date of Easter.
FAQs about Mardi Gras 2024
some frequently asked questions about Mardi Gras 2024.
Q: When is Mardi Gras in 2024?
A: Mardi Gras in 2024 is on Tuesday, February 20th.
Q: Where is the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States?
A: The biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States is in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Q: Will Mardi Gras be affected by COVID-19 in 2024?
A: It’s difficult to predict what the situation with COVID-19 will be in 2024, but it’s possible that Mardi Gras celebrations could be affected in some way. It’s important to stay up-to-date with local health guidelines and restrictions.
Q: What are some traditional foods and drinks associated with Mardi Gras?
A: Some traditional foods and drinks associated with Mardi Gras include King Cake, gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish, po’boys, hurricanes (a sweet, rum-based cocktail), and beer.
Q: What is the history behind Mardi Gras?
A: Mardi Gras has its roots in medieval Europe, where it was a time of feasting and revelry before the start of the Lenten season of fasting and repentance. The tradition was brought to the New World by French explorers and has since evolved into a major cultural celebration in New Orleans and other parts of the United States.