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Hotel Chateau Laurier
Hotel Chateau Laurier
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Mardi Gras Around The World [VIDEO]

Did you think Mardi Gras was strictly a New Orleans thing? Think again.

In Belgium Mardi Gras is the most important day of the year. Belgians celebrate the Carnival of Binche in the city of Binche, which features lots of music and dancing.

Sweden celebrates Fettisdagen, translating to "Fat Tuesday."

In Canada Mardi Gras is celebrated throughout the country, especially in the french-speaking Quebec, where the Quebec Winter Carnival is one of the most iconic of Canadian festivals.

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Flickr User DoctorWho
Flickr User DoctorWho
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Know Your Mardi Gras History [VIDEO]

Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday," a reference to the binge eating a lot of Catholics do before Lent. As is often the case with holidays, the Christian roots are intertwined with earlier pagan practices. It was very common for early church fathers to integrate elements of pagan ritual in an attempt to attract potential converts.

Mardi Gras itself originated in the Middle Ages and was brought to the U.S. by the French explorer Iberville. In 1827, Parisian-style masked balls were legalized in New Orleans after a long period of prohibition. The celebration soon became known for its celebrants' raucous behavior during fanciful parades.

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Category: National News

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