Tomorrow, Tuesday February 12, is the last day of the season of Mardi Gras. The origins of Mardi Gras date back to the 17th and 18th centuries in medieval Europe. However, this celebration didn’t make its first appearance in the U.S. until the 1730s when the city of New Orleans began recognizing the season. The Mardi Gras tradition of “masked balls” began in the late 1700s and still continues to this day. In French, “Mardi Gras” literally means “Fat Tuesday.” Mardi Gras falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the last day prior to Lent, which is the 40 day season of prayer and fasting that ends on Easter Sunday.
Every year, my family celebrates Mardi Gras by eating a traditional Cajun meal of either gumbo or red beans and rice, along with my dad’s homemade King Cake. He’s been making his own King Cakes for over 10 years, and I’ve got to say, they’re better than any I’ve ever tasted from Louisiana. I love that my family has this annual tradition, and it’s definitely one I hope to carry on in the future!