How Fat Tuesday Became The Biggest Party In Christendom

What comes to mind when you think of Mardi Gras? Beads? Fried dough? Massive hangovers? This celebration has more than earned its rep as a wild party in cities like New Orleans, Venice, and Rio de Janeiro, but the holiday on which Mardi Gras is based, Fat Tuesday, didn't start out that way. Yes, partying and delicious foods were always part of it — but it's a little more complicated than that.

At its most basic, Fat Tuesday is the day in the Roman Catholic calendar that precedes Ash...

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