Mardi Gras is one of the most iconic celebrations of all time. Colorful beads. Vibrant parades. Hurricane cocktails. The holiday, which is celebrated around the world, gets the most fanfare in cities like New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro. There, revelers attend parties and balls throughout the Carnival season, and tourists pour in to join the festivities. But no matter how much you love Mardi Gras, it can sometimes be difficult to get the dates right. After all, the holiday takes place on a different day each year — although it always falls on a Tuesday. Ahead, we’ve outlined Mardi Gras’ dates for 2021 and beyond, plus a few interesting facts about the festive holiday and how it will be celebrated amid the coronavirus pandemic.
When is Mardi Gras 2021?
Mardi Gras changes dates each year because it is connected to Easter, which also changes dates each year. Mardi Gras always falls exactly 47 days before Easter. This year, Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, Febraury 16, 2021. However, the Carnival season is much longer than just one day. Each year, Carnival begins on January 6, or the Feast of the Epiphany in the Christian faith. The season ends on Mardi Gras, which is always the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season in the Christian faith. That means that this year, Carnival runs from January 6 to February 16, 2021.
What is Mardi Gras?
The name Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, so called because it is the last day of feasting before the sacrifices and fasting that define the Christian season of Lent. But despite the fact that the holiday is associated with the Christian faith, everyone can participate. In New Orleans, the entire city does. Different clubs, or krewes, host parades and masked balls in the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras, and the holiday is renowned for merry-making and fun.
Is Mardi Gras canceled this year?
Large gatherings — like the ones typically associated with Mardi Gras — are proven to be super-spreader events for the coronavirus. That means that this year, there will be precautions in place during Mardi Gras. According to the New Orleans mayor’s office, “The City of New Orleans cannot cancel Mardi Gras because it is a religious holiday, however we will not be able to celebrate the Holiday this year as we have in the past.” The office notes that there will be no parades, and that the famous Bourbon Street will be subject to local and state COVID-19 guidelines.
Instead of celebrating Mardi Gras with others, find a creative way to celebrate at home. Some Mardi Gras parades, like Bacchus, will be held virtually this year, which means you can kick back and watch the fun from the comfort and safety of home.
When is Mardi Gras next year?
Here is when Mardi Gras will fall in the coming years:
- 2021: February 16
- 2022: March 1
- 2023: February 21
- 2024: February 13
- 2025: March 4
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