Today is February 24, 2009 and it is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday.
Just in case you didn’t know, Mardi Gras is celebrated in other places other than New Orleans and Rio de Janiero. It is also celebrated in many different ways. For some, Mardi Gras isn’t just the day before Ash Wednesday. Some cultures use the term to represent an entire period, a couple of days or even a few weeks.
In Ireland and the United Kingdom, the day is called Shrove Tuesday. In Alabama, Mardi Gras begins in November and ends with a huge ass party that lasts up until Ash Wednesday. In South America, Mardi Gras begins at the end of Twelfth Night (the coming of the Epiphany). In Panama, Mardi Gras is a four-day holiday weekend upon which people are soaked with water hoses from trucks.
Many cultures mark the occasion with the eating of pancakes. Supposedly, in previous times, pancakes were considered one of the most fattening, gluttonous things a person could eat. People would eat the pancakes, indulging themselves on Fat Tuesday in order to prepare themselves for the solemnity and fasting of the Lent Season which begins on Ash Wednesday.
You didn’t know before, and now you do.
And if you hurry, head down to IHOP. Today is National Pancake Day, and they are giving away a free plate of pancakes.
Enjoy your life.