The terms "Mardi Gras" "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Epiphany and ending on the day before Ash Wednesday.
From the French term "Mardi Gras" (literally "Fat Tuesday"), has come to mean the whole period of activity related to those events, beyond just the single day, often called Mardi Gras Day or Fat Tuesday.
The time varies from city to city, as some traditions consider Mardi Gras as the Carnival period between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday. In Alabama, Mardi Gras events begin in November, followed by mystic society balls on Thanksgiving, then New Year's Eve, formerly with parades on New Year's Day, followed by parades and balls in January and February, celebrating up to midnight before Ash Wednesday. Other cities most famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Quebec City, Quebec in Canada, Mazatlan, Sinaloa in Mexico and New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States.
Carnival is an important celebration in most of Europe (except in Ireland and the United Kingdom where the festival is called "shrovetide" ending on Shrove Tuesday, and pancakes are the tradition) and also in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
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