Mardi Gras

Extravagant French Vocabulary

French Mardi Gras vocabulary
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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 2023, Mardi gras is 21 February; in 2024, it will be 13 February.*

The period leading up to Mardi Gras is called Carnaval, and the several-week festival is celebrated in New Orleans, Nice, Guadeloupe, and many other francophone (and non-francophone) cities, regions, and countries.

Shrove Tuesday le Mardi gras
Ash Wednesday le mercredi des Cendres
Lent le carême
Easter le Pâques, les Pâques
Passover la pâque

Mardi Gras colors ~ Les couleurs de Mardi gras

The three official colors of Mardi Gras have official meanings:

goldpower orle pouvoir
greenfaith vertla foi
purplejustice violetla justice

Mardi Gras vocabulary ~ Le vocabulaire de mardi gras

bead une perle
bonfire un feu de joie
captain le capitaine
costume un costume
costume ball un bal masqué
crowd la foule
crown une couronne
dancing la danse
disguise un déguisement
doubloon un doublon
effigy une effigie
feather une plume
float un char
jewel un bijou
king le roi
krewe (organizer) un krewe
Mardi gras run le courir
mask le masque
music la musique
necklace un collier
parade un défilé
queen la reine
sequin une paillette
torch un flambeau
trinket une babiole

French listening comprehension French listening practice

 Related lessons

French lesson plans Mardi gras lesson plans

More from LKL

* Pancake recipes

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

French vocabulary for other holidays

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French mardi gras vocabulary

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