Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also called "Shrove Tuesday" or Carnival ("car-nee-VAHL" elsewhere but in New Orleans "CAR-na-val"). It is a celebration that is held just before the beginning of the Christian liturgical season of Lent.
The date can vary from early February to as late as the second week in March. Like Lent, the date is dependent on that of Easter.
Mardi Gras falls on the following dates in the following years:
* 2004 - 24 February
The place most commonly associated with Mardi Gras is New Orleans, Louisiana. The city's celebrations have become legendary.
Carnival's most famous city is Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Like Rio, many other cities in Iberian and Ibero-American cultures have very important Carnival celebrations. In Brazil, also famous are the Carnival celebrations in Recife, Olinda, Salvador among others. Please list some.
Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the what may be the longest continuously observed Mardi Gras celebration in the United States, and still celebrates it each year. One unique aspect of the Mobile celebrations is the use of Moon Pies, a sweet baked good that combines a graham cracker like crust with marshmallow, and is then covered in a flavored frosting.