Lent is the period of 40 days before Easter. Many people will observe the Lenten Season with fasting and abstaining from meat, prayer and almsgiving to the poor.
Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans and some Baptists observe Ash Wednesday as a day of fasting and prayer.
Distribution of ashes is held during special Ash Wednesday church services as a reminder to repent and turn away from sin.
The first Mardi Gras is the U.S. was celebrated near New Orleans in 1699. New Orleans remains the place to be on Fat Tuesday.
Many businesses close down and hundreds of thousands of people come to watch parades during the entire Carnival season, which ends at midnight on Fat Tuesday.
There have been parades each weekend and some weekdays in New Orleans since mid-January. On Fat Tuesday, there are multiple parades planned, starting at 8 a.m.
King's Cakes are one of the traditional Mardi Gras desserts. The cakes are decorated with green, gold and purple, the colors of Mardi Gras and are baked with a plastic baby inside.
Each color holds a special significance. Purple signifies justice, gold signifies power and green signifies faith.
The cakes honor the wise men who came to find Jesus and the baby signifies Jesus. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the baby hosts the next King's Day celebration.
Fat Tuesday is a fun time for family and friends to gather together. There are celebrations and parades in other places; however, the New Orleans celebration is the largest in the U.S.