Plan for an earlier Mardi Gras 2024; see future dates for Fat Tuesday

NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - Mardi Gras 2023 is finally in the books, and New Orleans’ biggest party returned to its full glory.

This Carnival brought back a sense of normalcy closer to pre-pandemic times, with most krewes returning to their routes.

Now, it’s pretty safe to say we’re already looking forward to next year, and the beads, glitz and Mardi Gras magic will return sooner than you think.

So, when is Mardi Gras 2024 and beyond?

Fat Tuesday will fall earlier next year on Feb. 13, 2024, one day before Valentine’s Day and a week earlier than in 2022.

See the Mardi Gras dates for the next five years:

2024: Feb. 13

2025: March 4

2026: Feb. 17

2027: Feb. 9

2028: Feb. 29

How are Mardi Gras dates chosen?

The day on which we celebrate Mardi Gras all depends on Easter. Fat Tuesday is also always the day before Ash Wednesday.

Easter falls on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, or the first full moon that occurs on or after the day of the spring equinox, March 21, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

The Farmer’s Almanac explains that’s why Easter is a movable holiday, occurring anywhere from late March to late April. March 22 is the earliest Easter can occur on any given year, and April 25 is the latest.

According to the Astronomical Society of South Australia, “astronomers approximated astronomical full moon dates for the Christian church, calling them Ecclesiastical Full Moon dates.”

The Easter Dating Method was “achieved in 1583 A.D. using skill and common-sense by Pope Gregory XIII and his astronomers and mathematicians, predominantly Lilius and Clavius, by introducing their new larger (revised) PFM Gregorian dates table,” according to Astronomical Society of South Australia.

To sum things up, the calculation has everything to do with Mardi Gras and when we celebrate it. Usually set 47 days before Easter, Mardi Gras could fall on any Tuesday between Feb. 3 and March 9.

It’s no secret that Mardi Gras is always celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is observed among the Catholic Church and some Protestant churches leading up to Easter as a time of repentance, marked by fasting, abstinence, prayer and almsgiving.

Practice your math skills and plan ahead for future Mardi Gras. Click here for a list of Easter dates through 2299, courtesy of the Astronomical Society of South Australia.

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.