Wondering how long does Mardi Gras last? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
If you’re visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you may be wondering “how long does Mardi Gras last?”. It’s a good question, especially if you’ve never been to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras before!
As you’ve likely already figured out, Mardi Gras is an INCREDIBLE time to visit New Orleans. It’s one of the most lively and fun times to visit the city, and the place is full of energy and atmosphere.
So, let’s get into answering, how long does Mardi Gras last…
But first, what is Mardi Gras?
Before we get into the question “how long does Mardi Gras last?”, we thought we’d answer the question “what is Mardi Gras?”. Despite its popularity in New Orleans, not all outsiders have a clear grasp of the meaning of this colorful holiday.
You may not have guessed it from the scenes of debauchery seen each year, but Mardi Gras is linked to a religious fast undertaken each Easter – Lent.
Before taking away their various vices for an extended period, the folks of New Orleans like to have one last hurrah! During the festivities, you can expect to see parades, galas, parties, special happy hours, and everything in between. Most people when asking ‘how long does Mardi Gras last?’ are probably hoping ‘as long as possible!’ for that very reason!
Mardi Gras is an intense and risqué time in the city of jazz, but it still offers plenty to do for families.
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Kids always appreciate the blaring music, colorful costumes, and general feeling of freedom and expression during this period, so don’t be afraid to bring them along to Mardi Gras this year.
Of course, you won’t want to take them to the French Quarter where things get crazy, but they can still enjoy much of the festivities (the ones that aren’t rated R of course!).
Mardi Gras is totally the event of the Easter season! And like anything around the Easter period, it’s never set in stone. Which is why answering the question ‘how long does Mardi Gras last?’ can be a little tricky.
How long does Mardi Gras last?
If you’re wondering “how long does Mardi Gras last?”, you’re certainly not alone!
To figure this out, it’s important to understand, that (a bit like Christmas) Mardi Gras isn’t just a day, it’s a season. You have a Mardi Gras date (listed below for you) but you also have the period of celebration leading up to that date too.
In general, Mardi Gras celebrations and parades last for several weeks each year. The length of time carnival period depends on the date of Shrove Tuesday that year (the day before Ash Wednesday).
Each year, Carnival season begins on January 6 (or the Feast of the Epiphany in the Christian faith). The season then ends on Mardi Gras (a set date), which is always the day before Ash Wednesday.
It’s a bit tricky to definitively answer the question “how long does Mardi Gras last?” because it can vary slightly each year. This may seem odd, but it can last anywhere from four weeks to an incredible eight weeks! It simply depends on when Easter falls that particular year, so it changes year on year.
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What date does Mardi Gras fall on this year?
The actual day of Mardi Gras (not the season of celebration) is held exactly 47 days before Easter.
Here is when Mardi Gras will fall in the coming years:
- 2022: March 1st
- 2023: February 21
- 2024: February 13
- 2025: March 4
This date will mark the END of Mardi Gras (not the beginning), so you can count back from these dates to work out when celebrations will be taking place.
This tip helps to figure out how long Mardi Gras lasts…
As a rule, Twelfth Night is traditionally when Mardi Gras officially starts. So, if you’re wondering “how long does Mardi Gras last?”, try calculating it each year by using that date as a starting point.
Essentially, if Easter is late during a particular year, the carnival festivities will take place from February through to Shrove Tuesday. The parties tend to get bigger and better as the season rolls on, so make sure you gear up for the big day accordingly.
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We hope that this short article has shed some light on the question “how long does Mardi Gras last?”. As you can see, the carnival period lasts for a while, and you can dip in and out of festivities over the period depending on your ability to handle crowds.
If you want to catch some of the revelries before things get crazy, we highly recommend heading down to New Orleans at the beginning of February. You may not catch the largest parades, but you’ll still see plenty without being swept up in the worst of the crowds.
So really, when asking ‘how long does Mardi Gras last?’ the true answer is, as long as possible! This festival is so amazing, we wish it would keep going!
Hopefully, this answered your question ‘How long does Mardi Gras last?’
We hope you have an amazing time celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans!
If you have more questions about visiting New Orleans during this time of year, don’t forget to check out our other informative articles about Mardi Gras!
Read more about visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras: 14 things to do during Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Read more: What happens at a Mardi Gras ball?
Read more about visiting New Orleans: 105 fun things to do in New Orleans