The terms "Mardi Gras" ( /ˈmɑrdiɡrɑː/), "Mardi Gras season", and"Carnival season"in English, refer toevents of the Carnivalcelebrations,beginning on or after Epiphany andculminating on the day before AshWednesday. Mardi Gras is French for"Fat Tuesday" (in ethnic Englishtradition, Shrove Tuesday), referring tothe practice of the last night of eatingricher, fatty foods before the ritualfasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Related popularpractices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religiousobligations associated with the penitentialseason of Lent. Popular practicesinclude wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing,sports competitions, parades, etc. Similar expressions to Mardi Gras appear inother European languages sharing the Christian tradition. In English, the day iscalled Shrove Tuesday, associated with the religious requirement for confessionbefore Lent begins.In many areas, the term "Mardi Gras" has come to meanthe whole period of activity related to the celebratoryevents, beyond just the single day. In some US cities, it isnow called "Mardi Gras Day" or "Fat Tuesday".While not observed nationally throughout the United States,a number of traditionally ethnic French cities and regions inthe country have notable celebrations. Mardi Gras arrivedin North America as a French Catholic tradition.In 1723, the capital of Louisiana was moved to New Orleans, founded in 1718. The tradition has expanded to the point that it became strongly associatedwith the city in popular perception, and embraced by residents of New Orleansbeyond those of French or Catholic heritage. Mardi Gras celebrations are part ofthe basis of the slogan, Laissez les bons temps rouler, (Let the good times roll)and the nickname "Big Easy". Mobile, Alabama, the former capital of NewFrance, also has a long tradition of celebrating Mardi Gras.