Mardis Gras was recently held in downtown Nashville. I guess I should say celebrated in Nashville. The outfits went from mild to just plain bizarre. Some were wearing next to nothing and others, like this man, had on some very odd clothing. As you can see this man had on a furry jumpsuit. He was handing out beads left and right.
For those who do not know, "Mardis Gras" is French for "Fat Tuesday. The thought is that you are supposed to eat "fattening foods" before the ritual of fasting on Ash Wednesday. Of course the event in Nashville was on a Saturday night, not a fat Tuesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. The day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning "confess."
So how did alcohol come to play such a major roll in an event that was said to occur prior to a major Christian fasting? Good question. I do not have a proper answer for you. Perhaps the thought is party hard, because you will confess the following day. That is kind of like saying, "Let's sin tonight and ask for forgiveness in the morning."