When is Mardi Gras 2020? Plan for an early Fat Tuesday and dates beyond
By The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate
Tribune Content Agency|
Feb 10, 2020 | 9:08 PM
Mardi Gras will be a little earlier this year when Fat Tuesday falls on February 25.
It ran later than normal last year when Fat Tuesday landed on March 5.
So why isn't Mardi Gras on the same day every year, like Christmas? It's all about Easter, which isn't on the same day every year. Buckle up, because this involves math, astronomy and religion.
Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox, March 21. That means Easter can never occur before March 22 or later than April 25.
The AA explains that "In 1582, Christopher Clavius and a council working at the direction of Gregory XIII (Pope of the Roman Catholic Church) completed a reconstruction of the Julian Calendar producing new Easter tables."
So what does this have to do with Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras is usually set 47 days before Easter. In any given year, Mardi Gras will fall on any Tuesday between Feb. 3 and March 9. These two dates are extra special, because Mardi Gras will fall on them only once in a lifetime, each occurring roughly once every 100 to 150 years. Read more here.
Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, which the Catholic Church and some Protestant churches observe leading up to Easter as a time of repentance, marked by fasting, abstinence, prayer and almsgiving.