What’s your favorite celebration of the year?

As Catholics, the one thing we do more than anything else is celebrate. We celebrate life, death, new life, and eternal life. We celebrate education, innovation, discovery, love, truth, beauty, goodness, forgiveness, reconciliation, unity, family, and new life. We are a people of celebration.

Fat Tuesday is one of the most loved celebrations of the year—for Catholics and non-Catholics alike! It’s the last day before Lent begins…and the last chance to feast and celebrate before the 40-day season of fasting and reflection. Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, Shrovetide, or Mardi Gras, is a joyful conclusion to Ordinary Time and a joyful preparation for one of the most important Catholic seasons: Lent.

When is Fat Tuesday?

Fat Tuesday is on March 4, 2025.

What is the Meaning of Fat Tuesday?

Feasts and fasts. These two words play a powerful role in the life of a Catholic. We feast as a reminder of God’s abundant generosity and the goodness of life. We fast to train our bodies and souls to rely more fully upon God.

Fat Tuesday is the great feast before Lenten fasts begin. Traditionally, Catholics have embraced Fat Tuesday as a way to get rid of all the fats and desserts in the house in preparation for Lent. With these tempting goodies already consumed, it’s easier to more fully engage in Lent and experience spiritual growth.

The deeper meaning for Fat Tuesday actually comes from its traditional name, Shrove Tuesday. The word “shrove” means to give absolution—to be forgiven! Shrove Tuesday is an invitation to reflect on your life, seek forgiveness and peace, and get ready for 40 days of spiritual renewal during Lent.

You might have heard of Mardi Gras–which means “Fat Tuesday” in French. The grandest Mardi Gras celebration takes place in New Orleans, where parades, parties, and feasting lasts anywhere from one day to several weeks!

Fat Tuesday is a wonderful opportunity to share a meal and your faith with the people you love.

Traditional Fat Tuesday Meals

If you could only have one more delicious meal, which foods would you want on the menu?

Fat Tuesday is the perfect day to enjoy all your favorites—including some classic traditional options. Many celebrations include donuts, pancakes, and Polish Pączki. One popular favorite food item is Mardi Gras King Cake—a delicious cake with a small plastic baby hidden inside, representing the baby Jesus. Whoever gets served the piece of cake with the baby inside “wins” and is responsible for bringing the King Cake to next year’s party! At the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, many people eat jambalaya, gumbo, étouffée, red beans, rice, and other Cajun dishes.

No matter what food you prefer, Fat Tuesday is a fun opportunity to gather with friends and family and celebrate together.

Learn More About Lent


Or share using this link:

Copied to clipboard!