“Mardi Gras” is a French word whose literal meaning is ‘Fat Tuesday’. Mardi Gras is basically a Christian holiday festival which is held on Shrove or Fat Tuesdays and refers to the holiday events of the carnival celebrations. It reflects the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season on a holiday.
The festival begins on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.
The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. The festival’s celebrations vary from place to place but if you are in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the time of the Mardi Gras, you must definitely not miss the vivid events.
Honolulu is the magnificent capital of Hawaii, situated on the island of Oahu’s South Shore. Honolulu offers you a taste of the rich culture and heritage of Hawaii. Every year, the carnivals of Mardi Gras are a must see in the cosmopolitan capital. The annual festival is filled with lots of music, creative dance performances, and amazing food. Chinatown is the place to go if you want to witness the festivity of the event. The festival is open to people of all ages and everyone can have a joyous time at the annual Mardi Gras celebrations. The streets are decorated with various colorful decorations and traditional crafts. Chinatown often hosts block parties and costume contests with cash prizes each year to mark the festival.
If you’re looking for a fancier night out with your significant other, you can visit downtown’s Square Barrels for a variety of seafood and drinks. You can find live performances throughout the city on Mardi Gras that will offer you a good time with family and friends. Dance to the tunes of acoustic and jazz performances and hold on to the spirit of the carnival! Since it is called ‘fat Tuesday’ it is a must for you to forget your diets and indulge in the various delicious seafood offered at the food carts during the festival. From clams to shrimp fry, you will find every kind of seafood that you could ever desire. The tradition of the festival traces to eating up the last of the sweet, rich and fatty foods before the ritual limits of Lent, which begins on the following day of Ash Wednesday. For elevating this craze of food on Mardi Gras, we must thank the Portuguese for their delicious Malassada- a sweet dish made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. You can go to Leonard’s Bakery (933 Kapahulu Ave.) and pick up a pink box from this iconic eatery from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can also try Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery, (3632 Wai‘alae Ave.) for its new flavored-sugar twist or head to Champion Bakery,( 1926 S. Beretania Street)for more classic doughy treats. Beer specials and discounts are also offered in many bars and restaurants on the festival season.
All in all, we can say that the Mardi Gras festival celebrations in Honolulu are filled with joyous activities and delicious feasts. Experience the rich culture of Hawaii by attending the carnivals of this festival and you surely won’t be disappointed.