Difference Between Mardi Gras and Carnival

Mardi Gras and carnival are global phenomena celebrated around the world.

Mardi Gras is a religious holiday and the biggest party in the world, while the carnival is a festival celebrated in over 50 countries around the world. 

Carnival began as a pagan celebration in ancient Egypt. It occurs during the start of the spring season.

The Mardi Gras celebration, which takes place in mid-February, is a major element of the midseason. Parades, performances, feasts, fairs, and celebrations are all part of both festivals.

Mardi Gras vs Carnival

The main difference between Mardi gras and carnival is that Carnival is considered the world’s oldest and largest party, but Mardi gras is linked with pre-fasting activities. Carnival is thought to have been celebrated before Christianity, hence Mardi gras is a Christian cultural feast.

Mardi Gras vs Carnival

In the mid-February season, Mardi gras is associated with Catholicism and excursions are quite important. Mardi gras is a two-week celebration that is filled with excitement.

Although the parade is the main attraction, other aspects of mardi gras include kings, cakes, mighty grass, and a lot of social celebrations.

The biggest parades are held on mardi gras day the Monday before mighty.

Carnival is an annual festival that incorporates public celebrations. Street parties, parades, balls, and other forms of entertainment are common examples of public festivities.

Carnival beginnings, the carnival roots of the world’s largest party, have been speculated to be approximately 5000 years ago with the Egyptians and others, with the Greeks being the most likely.

Some festivals were held in ancient Egypt and Greece to commemorate natural and cosmic cycles.

Comparison Table Between Mardi Gras and Carnival

Parameters of Comparison Mardi GrasCarnival
Also calledMardi Gras is also called fat Tuesday.Carnival is also called Carnaval
Type of Festival Mardi Gras is a Christian cultural festival.Carnival is an annual festival.
SignificanceMardi gras is a celebration period before the fasting season of Lent. Carnival is the merrymaking and festivity that takes place in many Roman Catholic countries.
CelebrationMardi Gras celebrations include parades, parties, music, picnics, etc.Carnival includes parades, balls, street performances, etc.
Type of Holidayit is a Catholic holiday.it is a Catholic holiday.

What is Mardi Gras?

Mardi gras is based on a French term that is related to religious events and linked to the moon cycles. Mardi gras is translated roughly from the French as fat Tuesday.

Fat Wednesday is the day before Ash Wednesday which on the catholic calendar begins the season of atonement leading up to easter. 

What we know today as mardi gras today is a catholic tradition and celebration where you eat everything you can drink every teen can do everything wrong that you can because Ash Wednesday is lent and that when you can’t do anything and you know during the season of lent especially.

The two biggest hosts of this celebration are New Orleans and Rio De Janeiro. During these festivals, thousands of people travel from one location of the party to another.

The party includes cakes, mardi gras balls, street dance, and a whole lot of celebration.

What is Carnival?

Carnival is celebrated globally and it is celebrated at the beginning of spring. When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt the ancient Greeks adopted the festival.

The word “Carne” means meat “Vale” means farewell in the catholic calendar.

Carnival typically involves celebration events such as parades, public street parties, and other entertainments combining some elements of a circus. Where people have fat food before the fast.

Carnivals we’re traditionally celebrated at the end of the winter season to commemorate the arrival of spring and the regeneration of fertility.

Carnival was viewed as the spiritual transition from darkness to light from winter to summer.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe so too did the festivity of Carnival colonization and exported it across the world.

Carnival has become a truly global celebration where millions of people all over the world contribute millions of dollars to the party.

Main Difference Between Mardi Gras and Carnival

  1. Carnival is a season of feasting and revelry that began on January 6. The last day of partying before Ash Wednesday is known as Mardi gras.
  2. Carnival is mostly linked with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, while Mardi Gras is connected with New Orleans. 
  3. Mardi Gras includes a party/parade celebration with ornate floats, historic krewes, live bands, and thousands of plastic beads. Carnival loosely translates to “say farewell to your flesh” in Latin (as in “it’s time to give up meat”).
  4. Mardi Gras was originally a single day during the carnival season, but it’s increasingly used to refer to a period of up to one or two weeks preceding the spectacular concluding celebrations on Fat Tuesday in most areas, particularly in New Orleans.
  5. Mardi Gras is a religious festival while Carnival is thought to have been celebrated before Christianity.
Difference Between Mardi Gras and Carnival


In conclusion, Mardi Gras and Carnival are unforgettable and the biggest events. Mardi Gras is the talk of New Orleans. Another term for Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday.

Most people associate Mardi Gras in New Orleans with meat, beer, and street shows. The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is similar to Mardi Gras.

Even though they are held in two different countries, they have the same goal. They are both observed in the days leading up to Lent.

The days leading up to Lent are said to be the last days to sin, making a sacrifice to stop doing so.

These Cultural Events are aimed to help bring together the community in ways that express the beliefs, customs, and ethics shared within the culture.

The term Culture can be broken down into an array of categories: Language, Social Activities, Interaction, Spirituality, Thought, and Arts & Sciences.

This paper will give an in-depth look into two highly publicized Cultural Events: Mardi Gras and Carnival Rio De Janeiro.

Mardi Gras and Carnival are both cultural events that strive to bring people together from all backgrounds, beliefs, customs, and ethics.

Both occasions are marked by parades and special food. Both Mardi Gras and carnival include public street parties, fatty food, events, and celebrations.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dz1SUIbn3MAC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=mardi+gras&ots=gluKUqnGQc&sig=fEGDDgxamsT4bjYaR5m_ZwALXEY
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-latin-american-studies/article/prehistory-of-samba-carnival-dancing-in-rio-de-janeiro-18401917/3695A00A6CB1BEC895AEE5E35D4C76F2

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