So, a group of us celebrated Mardi Gras this past weekend at a friends house. The term "Mardi Gras" in English, refer to events, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday; in English the day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning "confess." Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent.
While not observed nationally throughout the United States, a number of traditionally ethnic French cities and regions in the country have notable celebrations. In the rural Acadiana area, many Cajuns celebrate with the Courir de Mardi Gras, a tradition that dates to medieval celebrations in France. Which gave the perfectly good reason to gorge ourselves on good ol' Cajun food, like Gumbo, Jambalaya, meat pies etc.
The "king cake" takes its name from the biblical three kings. The season for king cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day), up until Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday;" the day before the start of Lent. Some organizations or groups of friends may have "king cake parties" every week through the Carnival season.