The state of Louisiana has been in party mode since late November of 2023. Just as we wrapped up Thanksgiving of last year and started to gear up for Christmas it dawned on a lot of us that the space between Mardi Gras and Christmas would not be large. Many of us probably participated in Christmas activities the same week we participated in some Mardi Gras activities. Such is life in late December in Louisiana.

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The reason for the rush for beads and cups and other things to throw from a float had to do with the timing of Mardi Gras in 2024. The Fat Tuesday celebration was on February 13th. I remember it like it was yesterday. And now that we've turned the corner to Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day it's natural that we look forward to when all of this is going to happen again next year.

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If you're not familiar with how the date for Mardi Gras is determined here's a very elementary explanation. Mardi Gras is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is 46 days before Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is determined this way. It is the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox.

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The Spring or Vernal Equinox happens on March 21st. So the earliest that Easter can ever occur is March 22nd and the latest is April 25th. By the same token the earliest Mardi Gras can occur is February 3rd and the latest is March 9th. Mardi Gras falls on those two days only once in a lifetime or about 100 to 150 years.

Because the phases of the moon don't line up with our calendar that's why Easter changes every year. And because Mardi Gras is based on Easter the day for that celebration changes as well.

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When is Mardi Gras 2025?

Unlike this year where only 38 days between Epiphany and Fat Tuesday in 2024 the length of time between Epiphany and Fat Tuesday 2025 will be 58 days. That means that Mardi Gras Balls won't be held in rooms filled with Christmas decorations and we'll have a chance to take down the Christmas Tree before we start putting masks and feathers and Mardi Gras flags on the wall.

Mardi Gras 2025 will be on March 4th. For your planning purposes, the date for Mardi Gras 2026 will be February 17, there will be another short Carnival season in 2027 when Fat Tuesday falls on February 9th. In 2028 we will celebrate Mardi Gras on February 29th, a Leap Day Mardi Gras, and finally for 2029 the big day will fall on February 13th.

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Gallery Credit: Scott Perrin

 

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