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Most people know Mardi Gras as the uniquely vibrant, New Orleans-hosted annual celebration – where yellow, green and purple color combinations line the streets, locals sport festive floats and ornate masks in the parade and tourists from all over the country venture to indulge in the Fat Tuesday tradition.
Now, Raymond Arroyo, a Fox News contributor, sports a different proverbial mask as the Grand Marshall of this year’s return celebration – as explored in Fox Nation’s ‘Mardi Gras All Access.’
In the Fox Nation-exclusive special, Arroyo travels to New Orleans to provide subscribers with an inside look at the Carnival celebrations, the first the city has seen in two years since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the Carnival season doesn’t start with the parades, Arroyo explains. “It starts way back on the twelfth night: The Epiphany.”
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In Christian tradition, the Epiphany, which falls on January 6th each year – colloquially considered the twelfth day of Christmas – is a religious feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.
“Mardi Gras is actually the finale of the Lenten preparation for New Orleanians, the culmination of Carnival – meaning farewell to flesh,” Arroyo explains. “It is that time established by the Catholic Church between Christmas and Lent which ends the day before Ash Wednesday: Mardi Gras day.”
Arroyo goes on to explain that the origins of modern-day Mardi Gras celebrations date as far back as the turn of the 18th century.
“The celebration arrived here courtesy of the French-Canadian explorer, Jean-Baptiste Bienville. In 1699, he arrived at a plot of land 60 miles south of modern-day New Orleans.”
Since it was the eve of the great holiday, Bienville named the spot Pointe du Mardi Gras.
But the real shape of the season, Arroyo argues, doesn’t begin until much later: in 1857. To learn more about the history of this special day, sign up on Fox Nation and stream ‘Mardi Gras All Access’ today!
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