Mardi Gras

Carnavale in Italy
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Extravagant Italian Vocabulary

Mardi Gras is an annual celebration of extravagance and (over)indulgence before Lent. The official slogan is "Let the good times roll," which is translated literally into French as Laissez les bons temps rouler (and is used only in Louisiana).

Because Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday," is tied to Easter, the date changes every year: it occurs 46 days before Easter, so somewhere between 3 February and 9 March. In 2021, Mardi gras is 16 February, in 2022, it will be 1st March.*

The period leading up to Mardi Gras is called Carnevale, and the several-week festival is celebrated all over the world. One of the most famous celebrations is in Venice.

Shrove Tuesday   Martedì grasso
Ash Wednesday   Mercoledì delle Ceneri
Lent   Quaresima
Easter   Pasqua
Passover   Pasqua ebraica

Mardi Gras colors ~ I colori del Martedì grasso

The three official colors of Mardi Gras have official meanings:

gold power   oro il potere
green faith   verde la fede
purple justice   viola la giustizia

Mardi Gras vocabulary ~ Il vocabulario del Martedì grasso

bead   una perlina
bonfire   un falò
captain   il capitano
costume   un costume
crowd   la folla
crown   una corona
dancing   il ballo
disguise   un travestimento
doubloon   un doblone
effigy   un’effigie
feather   una piuma
float   un carro
jewel   un gioiello
king   il re
krewe (organizer)   un krewe
Mardi gras run   la corsa del Martedì Grasso
mask   la maschera
masked ball   un ballo in maschera
music   la musica
necklace   una collana
parade   una parata
queen   la regina
sequin   un lustrino
torch   una torcia
trinket   un gingillo

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* Pancake recipes

In Commonwealth countries, this same day is known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day.

Italian vocabulary for other holidays

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Italian mardi gras