Whenever I think about Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday as it's also known) the first thing that comes to mind is a party with lots of beads, costumes, parades and drinks. However, did you know that Mardi Gras actually has a religious origin?

Mardi Gras celebrations first came to America in 1699 with the French explorer Iberville. It's a day that is celebrated in predominately Catholic locations, with one of the most popular being New Orleans.

While Fat Tuesday is known as a day of celebration before the Lenten Season begins, it's also the last day of the Season of Carnival... The Latin root of the word carnival is carne vale, which means "farewell to meat." The Season of Carnival begins on the 12th day of Christmas, best known as the Epiphany.

So grab some beads, have a drink, and endulge on rich foods as we celebrate Fat Tuesday 2012... Happy Mardi Gras!!!