When is Mardi Gras 2018? This is when you should buy your beads

Mardi Gras is widely known as one of the most anticipated parties of the year, despite the fact that it didn’t exactly start out that way — there’s a lot of rich history behind the day that many don’t even know about. Though, whether you know the true meaning behind it or not, you’re probably wondering when Mardi Gras is this year. After all, it’s been a very long month and we could all use something exciting to look forward to.

There is plenty of confusion surrounding Mardi Gras, including the idea that it only lasts one day. Here’s the deal: Mardi Gras does refer to Fat Tuesday, which only lasts one day. But the event also refers to Carnival, which is where things get a little confusing. The Mardi Gras season begins on Epiphany, a Christian holiday that is celebrated on January 6th (Three Kings Day or the Twelfth Day of Christmas, aka the wise men’s visit to newborn Jesus). In other countries, like Brazil, the time between Epiphany and Fat Tuesday is known as “Carnival.”

So Mardi Gras refers to both Carnival and Fat Tuesday.

It officially starts on Epiphany and ends at midnight on Fat Tuesday, right before Ash Wednesday begins.

This year, Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras) falls on February 13th, 2018. But as you can see, Carnival (also Mardi Gras — hence the confusion!) has been going on for a few weeks already.

In New Orleans, they’ve been celebrating Carnival since Epiphany. There have been parties, masquerades, parades, and many other festivities. If you want to take part, you can check out this handy schedule.

You know what means, right? You can officially start your celebrations before February 13th. In fact, you have some catching up to do!