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:

gold power   or le pouvoir
green faith   vert la foi
purple justice   violet la 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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