It's Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras is here! People around the world and in Central New York will be celebrating the "holiday" that comes before Lent. If you are not familiar with the history and traditions of Mardi Gras consider this your crash course. 

"Mardi Gras" actually means Fat Tuesday in French. Fat Tuesday refers to the tradition of eating richer, fatty foods before the Lenten fast. It is now considered the last hedonistic exercise before the meditation and cleansing of Lent, which lasts from February 22nd through April 7th.

Most sources agree that Marti Gras arrived in New Orleans by way of French explorer Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d'Iberville (so now you know who to thank or blame...). On March 3rd 1699 our explorer set up camp about 60 miles south of New Orleans, the same day Mardi Gras celebrations happened in France. So to honor his homeland, Iberville name the encampment Point du Mardi Gras. Celebrations have been held there ever since.

What about the beads you ask? Well throwing trinkets into the crowd at Mardi Gras has been around since 1870. Although the beaded necklaces thrown from the balconies and passed out at events come in all shapes, sizes and colors, everyone tries to get the purple, green or gold beads. Why? Purple represents justice, green faith and gold represents power! According to tradition they bring good fortune to those who catch them, but bad tiding come to those who pick them up off the ground.

Don't miss out on the greatest Mardi Gras party in Central New York! This Saturday join Oldiez 96.1 WODZ at Hotel Utica for a night to remember, live band, dancing, beads and a chance to win great prizes including a trip for 2! Get the details and your tickets here!.