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The Facts: Why Fat Tuesday's date changes every year

1 month 6 days 1 hour ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 February 26, 2020 5:13 AM February 26, 2020 in News
Source: The Advocate

BATON ROUGE - Now that Mardi Gras 2020 has officially ended, some Louisianians are already planning for next year. 

And, according to The Advocate Mardi Gras 2021 will be a little earlier than it was this year.

Fat Tuesday will fall on February 16, 2021. 

The peak of carnival season doesn't occur on the same day every year because it's dependent on the date of Easter, which changes from year to year. 

Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon (not the first astronomical full moon but an ecclesiastical moon, which is determined by the Catholic Church's calculations) to occur on or after March 21. 

This means Easter can never occur before March 21 or later than April 26.

Mardi Gras is typically set 47 days before Easter. 

So, any given year, Mardi Gras will fall on any Tuesday between Feb. 3 and March 9.

Incidentally, Mardi Gras will fall on these two dates only once in a lifetime, each occurring roughly once every 100 to 150 years. 

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. 

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