Fat Tuesday is a time of great self indulgence before a time of self denial. Mardi Gras in French, is celebrated from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday and in many cultures the three days leading up to Ash Wednesday.
Popular traditions for this time are to wear costumes, consume fatty foods and lots of it, consume alcohol and lots of it, dancing, parades and debauchery and lots of it. In other words, millions of Christians will engage in anti-Christian or sinful behavior before committing to more extreme self denial for forty days.
Is this what the bible teaches us to do? Hardly.
Lent, the forty day period before Easter Sunday is not a biblical period commanded by God to observe. Lent was really an older celebration from the pagan worship of Baal, it’s history goes all the way back to the grandson of Noah.
Ham the son of Noah, had a son named Cush who married a woman named Semiramis. Cush and Semiramis then had a son that they named Nimrod. You can find a little about Nimrod in Genesis 10:8-10. Nimrod married his own mother Semiramis and was eventually killed by an enemy.
After his death, his mother and wife declared him to be a “god”. She changed his name to Baal and then claimed that she was pregnant by immaculate conception. She claimed this was possible because the moon was a goddess of fertility (after all it looks like a giant egg) and that egg was fertilized by the rays of the sun.
Semiramis became known as Ishtar and soon gave birth to another son, Tammuz. Tammuz was also declared a god by his mother and it was not long before Tammuz was killed by a wild pig.
Queen Ishtar declared that a forty day period of mourning would be observed each year ending just after the first full moon following the spring equinox on what we now call Sunday. During this time the people were not to eat meat and were to eat a pig on that ending Sunday.
Following Emperor Constantine’s declaration that all of the Roman empire was now Christian, the “mystery” religions were absorbed into Christianity which had been un-moored from the Jewish traditions and the scriptures.
Understanding the history and foundations of Lent allow us to understand the roots of Fat Tuesday. The reason it seems so contrary to the bible and Christian lifestyle is because it is. While it is almost appears to be sanctioned by Christianity, it is not what the Lord wants for our lives.