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Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras (2017-02-28)

Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday) is the lat day of carnival. It is celebrated before Ash Wednesday.
Mardi Gras means also whole period of activity related to the celebrations, not only a single day. During that day many parades are taking place, sports competition, parties and social meetings. The most popular events are: the big ball on St. Mark's Square in Venice which is ending famous Venice's Carnival; Carnival of Binche in Belgium; Carnival of Salvator de Bahia; Barranquilla's Carnival in Columbia; ball and parades in Nice (France); Carnival in Chipiona in Spain; Carnival in New Orleans (US). The biggest one is Carnival in Rio de Janerio, which is lasting for 5 days.
Mardi Gras is a period of gluttony and parties before Lent. Custom of carnivals and carnival games depends on a country:
In UK, Australia and USA the holiday is known as a Pancake Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. As the name says, during that day people are eating pancakes.
In Poland the holiday is know as a Fat Tuesday. The is no tradition of a big, loud carnival, however all pubs and restaurants are preparing parties for that day. People are eating doughnuts. The old tradition is to eat beacon and pork fat and drink vodka during that day. People believe that if some don't eat a doughnut during fat Thursday, he will have a bad luck.
In Lithuania it is a time of gluttony. People should eat about 12 meals during that day. Among traditional dishes, the most popular is bliny – traditional pancakes made of buckwheat flour and yeast. Other dishes are made of pea, bean and pork. To throw out winter and made spring come faster, Lithuanians are organizing laud parades.
In Russia, the last day of carnival is called Maslenica. During that day people are eating bliny (Russian pancakes). Bliny can be eaten in many ways, for instance with caviar, fish, cream, mushrooms, poppy seeds, marmalade or honey. According to tradition, for all day Russians are dancing and eating sweets. Celebrations of Maselnica are related to pagans' customs. It was a happy holiday which was supposed to throw away winter and welcome spring. Many parades are taking place during that day and there is a custom to burn a effigy.
Very interesting is a Carnival in Quebec in Canada. People are dancing on the streets despite of the temperature lover than -30 Celsius degree. The main activities are fishing or canoe contests. The bravest people are playing volleyball in the swimsuits on the snow. The city is decorated with ice sculptures. The festival ends with the beauty contest, when people are choosing Winter Queen.
Completely different is a Carnival on the Caribbean islands. With rhythm of calypso and music played by native inhabitants on tin drums, called “steel pans” The most popular event is exotic parade, which takes place on the last day of Carnival. Carnival on Caribbean islands amazes with its cultural diversity. It is a carnival of colors music and dance.

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