The last day of Carnival and the day before for Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday is the intertwining of a period festivals and feasts that lead to a time of fasting and reflection. Also known as Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras, this enduring celebration has many traditions and deep roots around the world.
Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) dates back to an ancient Roman festival honoring the deities Lupercalia and Saturnalia which took place in mid-February. When Christians arrived in Rome, they incorporated the festival into Lenten preparations.
For centuries, this solemn feast prepared Christians for the season of Lent and used up valuable meat and supplies they would be abstaining from in the days to come. Traditions surrounding the day have changed through the ages. Through time and culture, the practices of Lent and Carnival, Mardi Gras, and Shrove Tuesday have varied and become incorporated into regional customs.
In the United Kingdom, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day. Pancakes are the perfect menu item when the future includes abstaining from fats, eggs, and sweets! In Russia, they celebrate the entire week during Shrovetide as Pancake Week.
Carnival & Mardi Gras
While the French didn’t originate the medieval feast, they did put their stamp on it. From parades to beignets and colorful masks, the last day of Carnival is full of elaborate costumes and lavish food sure to hold the revelers over through a long fast. During the 16th century, their ancestors celebrated Boeuf Gras (fatted calf) which included a tradition of parading a bull decorated with flowers through the city. The decorated animal is followed through the streets by a retinue of colorfully dressed attendants and bands playing unusual instruments. There was even a Boeuf Gras Society in Mobile, Alabama at one time. (See history below for more information.)
New Orleans holds the crown for Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. While the city is filled with French flavor and style, its culture is an eclectic infusion of many cultures. Colorful King Cake and thick, savory muffuletta sandwiches only suggest the indulgence possible on Fat Tuesday. Regional specialties like Etouffee, Po’boys, and jambalaya all add to the atmosphere of the day.
And while we satisfy our cravings, let’s not forget our beverages. Signature creations from New Orleans hit the spot. Be sure to try the Sazerac made with absinthe or the citrus cocktail Arnaud’s Special. For a smooth drink with some punch mix up a Vieux Carré made with whiskey, cognac, and sweet vermouth. But you don’t have to have a cocktail to enjoy the feast! Fat Tuesday has plenty of beverages full of refreshing flavor. Coffees, sodas, and shakes of every flavor can be found.
HOW TO OBSERVE #FatTuesday
Join in festivals around the country or have your own Fat Tuesday feast! Share your favorite traditions by using #FatTuesday, #MardiGras, #ShroveTuesday
In Pensacola as we are so close to both Mobile, AL and New Orleans, there are lots of pardades, parties, balls, and more. Get ready for beads, dancing, and King Cake.
At the end of the fun try coming home to my Crockpot New England Calm Chowder. As today this dish is celebrated nationwide today too.
FAT TUESDAY HISTORY
The roots of the celebration have been woven together for centuries from medieval spring festivals and feasts that were based on the Christian calendar. Fat Tuesday is celebrated around the world in its various forms all of which harken back to these roots of spring festivals and religious fasting in preparation for the Holy day of Easter.
Credit for bringing Mardi Gras to America goes to French explorers Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville and Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. In 1699, d’Iberville reached the mouth of the river on Shrove Tuesday near what is now Louisiana and named it Pointe du Mardi Gras.
Thanks to their establishment of Fort Louis de la Mobile, modern-day Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the first Mardi Gras celebration on American soil in 1703.
When de Bienville established Nouvelle Orleans in 1788, Mardi Gras celebrations reportedly began immediately. In 1875, Louisiana declared Fat Tuesday an official holiday
On February 19, National Vet Girls ROCK Day recognizes the immense dedication of the nearly 2 million U.S. veteran women.
On National Vet Girls ROCK Day, not only is it a day to recognize women veterans, but it’s a day for women veterans to support one another and to share resources, build relationships and spread awareness concerning the needs of women veterans
The willingness of America’s [Women] veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude. ~Jeff Miller
Since the Revolutionary War, women have served in the armed forces, and many have not been recognized for their service. Today, the contributions of nearly 2 million women veterans deserve acknowledgment. National Vet Girls ROCK Day celebrates the bonds they formed and their experiences through military service.
While we can never truly repay the debt we owe our heroes, the least we should do for our brave veterans is to ensure that the government takes a proactive approach to delivering the services and benefits they have earned, so they can access the care they need and so richly deserve. ~Kirsten Gillibrand
Like thousands of military personnel, support transitioning from military to civilian life develops both their professional and personal success. Honoring their accomplishments, skills, and essential contributions both in the military and civilian fields elevate the place of the woman veteran to her proper position.
From the world wars of Europe to the jungles of the Far East, from the deserts of the Middle East to the African continent, and even here in our own hemisphere, our “women” veterans have made the world a better place and America the great country we are today. ~ John Hoeven
HOW TO OBSERVE
Connect with other women veterans for camaraderie and support on National Vet Girls ROCK Day. Join a VGR meetup at various designated restaurant locations throughout the United States and affirm your support of women veterans.
Tell us about your favorite woman veteran and use #VetGirlsROCKDay to share on social media. Follow AVWA and VGR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for upcoming AVWA and VGR events. (@avwaorg and @VetGirlsRock1)
Vet Girls Rock founded National Vet Girls Rock Day on February 19, 2019, to bring awareness to the contributions of women veterans to the United States military and to provide an opportunity for women veterans to celebrate the bonds they formed during their service.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Vet Girls Day to be observed annually on February 19.
You can also celebrate NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MINTD DAY as well. Better yet make it a point to give chocolate covered mints like York, or Andes to as many female veterans as you can find.
About Vet Girls Rock
Vet Girls ROCK, an initiative under Active Veterans With Answers, founded in 2017, Vet Girls ROCK serves as a resource and knowledge stream for women veterans. With the struggles of transitioning from military to civilian life; Vet Girls ROCK was created to educate, enlighten, and support women veterans through professional and personal growth that improves awareness, potential, and identify talents. Women veterans who miss that camaraderie can find it in Vet Girls ROCK.
The entire month of February is dedicated to the people who love whole buildings devoted to the reading, housing, organizing, categorizing, finding, studying and otherwise loving books. It’every s National Library Lover’s Month!
Check out some of these fantastic Authors and their books. I’ve said for years “Hollywood needs a library card. Guess someone finally heard me. ” They currently have Movies or series based on the books.
There are lots of great authors and books I cannot begin to list them all here. Make sure you bookmark and like our site for more.
Libraries provide so much more than a place for us to enjoy great novels or to discover amazing adventures and untold history. Yes, they help us ace our research papers and provide a quiet space to study, but they do so much more.
For preschoolers, libraries entertain them with theater and hands-on activities exposing them to music, art and their first friendships. Many communities rely on their libraries for meeting space for public forums, socials, fundraisers and classes.
Libraries lend not only books but music and movies. Rotating art displays give local artists exposure to the community. Larger libraries provide preservation services, preserving some of the most treasured books, periodicals and documents for future generations.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Continue enjoying your library, but consider volunteering your time, too. If you don’t have a library card, it’s never too late! Visit your library to get one! Use #NationalLibraryLoversDay to share on social media.
Of course, if you’re even a fraction addicted to books as I am you may have to start your own library. Mine is currently occupying four bookshelves with some still boxed. Since I like to reread mine I use them frequently. As I usually read a full novel in about two days I have to carry a small ton from my local library or draw from my own. I wish ereaders had been around when I started.
If you want to pass this gift to others February 14th is also International Book Giving Day.
On National Shower with a Friend Day on February 5th is a tongue in cheek way of educating people about the benefits filtered, chlorine-free water.
Check out the link below to see if you should shower in filtered water. https://www.uswatersystems.com/the-truth-about-chlorine-in-your-shower-water
Winter is the coldest and loneliest season of the year. With dwindling daylight and Valentine’s Day at its heart, February can often leave people feeling dejected and somber. The day injects a bit of humor into the season while also serving to educate people on the benefits of showering in fresh, filtered water (and the effects of chlorine).
Learn more about how chlorine is harmful to shower or bathe in or consume.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ShowerWithAFriendDay
Shower with filtered water. Learn more about the harmful effects of chlorine and how to filter it. Use #ShowerWithAFriendDay to post on social media.
Exercise your problem brain with a puzzle. January 29th is National Puzzle Day.
Whether it’s a crossword, jigsaw, trivia, word searches, brain teasers or Soduku, puzzles put our minds to work.
Studies have found that when we work on a jigsaw puzzle, we use both sides of the brain, and spending time daily working on puzzles improves memory, cognitive function and problem-solving skills.
Word searches and crossword puzzles have the obvious benefit of increasing vocabulary and language skills.
Sudoku, a puzzle sequencing a set of numbers on a grid, exercises the brain as well. By testing memory and logical thinking, this puzzle stimulates the brain and can improve number skills.
The bottom line is, puzzles stimulate the brain, keeping it active and practicing its skills.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Spend time putting together a jigsaw puzzle with a friend, or grab a cup of coffee and complete a Sudoku or crossword puzzle.
Use #NationalPuzzleDay to post on social media.
Started in 2002 by Jodi Jill, National Puzzle Day was created as a way to share her enjoyment of puzzles. As a syndicated newspaper puzzle maker and professional quiz maker, Jodi Jill developed classroom lesson plans especially for National Puzzle Day and the popularity has grown year after year.
Celebration of Life Day on January 22nd honors the children and grandchildren who bring joy to our lives. The day is a reminder that each child and each life is to be held as a precious gift with the highest respect and dignity.
Children grow up so quickly. They’re constantly learning new things and changing daily. Each day they delight us with their simple wisdom and observations. By spending time with children and demonstrating the care and love they deserve, we celebrate their life.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CelebrationOfLifeDay
Celebrate the children in your life. Share the day with a child, grandchild, niece or nephew. We’ve provided several suggestions.
- Read a book with a child.
- Get down on the floor and put a puzzle together.
- Build something with your child.
- Invite all the cousins to play board games.
- Bake cookies and decorate them. Even the smallest child will learn something.
- Make popcorn and watch a movie.
- Tell the story of how Grandma and Grandpa met.
- Get out the art supplies and create.
- Visit a museum.
- Show a teen how to change a tire.
- Give a driving lesson.
- Paint your fingernails together.
- Everybody give the dog a bath.
- Go swimming.
- Make balloon animals.
- Sing Karaoke
Use #CelebrationOfLifeDay to post on social media.
National Use Your Gift Card Day reminds Americans to use the $1 billion in gift cards left unused each year. On the third Saturday in January, take stock of the gift cards you received over the holidays. Make the most of each one of them before they’re forgotten for good!
We all do it. Stash away gift cards thinking we will have more time later to use them. They collect dust and disappear into an abyss somewhere. We discover them as we clean and often don’t remember how much was on the card or if we used a portion of it. Those partial balances add up, too! The first step is to collect the cards together and see what you have. You know where to look.
- Every pocket of every purse and wallet you have
- The infamous junk drawer
- Glove compartment of the car
- Bottom of the toy box (it may have been used to scrape goo off a toy)
- The other junk drawer
- A gift bag with the tissue paper still in it
- The toolbox (we know what happens when a flathead screwdriver can’t be found)
Once you have your gift cards, get organized. Where do the gift cards work? Restaurants, retail, and services all offer gift cards. Some gift cards are designed to be used just about anywhere.
Maximizing Your Gift
- Check for deals to maximize your gift cards. In most cases, gift cards work just like cash and can be used with coupons. There are exceptions, however, so it’s always good to check first.
- Is the card to a place you don’t shop? You have a few options:
- See if the card is good at a companion location
- Check to see if the gift card can be cashed out
- Have a gift card swap party or sell your gift card for cash
- Donate your gift card to a charity fundraiser like a silent auction
- Plan to overspend the amount of the gift card to avoid having small balances lying around. Even if you add a small useful item (lip balm is always handy) to go a penny over the amount, you’ll be able to hand the card over to the retailer to recycle the card.
HOW TO OBSERVE #UseYourGiftCardDay
Collect your gift cards. It’s time to use them. Don’t let them sit for a year and risk losing your gift altogether. Maximize your gift cards with deals and get the most out of your gift cards, too. Have a shopping spree or a spa day with your gift cards. Don’t let those gifts and savings pass you by! Use #UseYourGiftCardDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL USE YOUR GIFT CARD DAY HISTORY
Tilson PR founded National Use Your Gift Card Day in 2020 to make sure everyone gets the most out of their gift cards. Leave no gift card unturned and find tips, ideas, and deals by visiting useyourgiftcard.com, too.