The liturgical geek in me has come out to post....
Today is Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday (and in French, Mardi Gras); it is the day preceding the Christian liturgical season of Lent, forty days of fasting and repentance before the celebration of Easter.
Pancake Day, you may ask? Yup. As Lent centered around fasting and giving up rich foods, people would use up their supplies of eggs, sugar, jams, and milk by making and eating pancakes (crêpes for the French, mais oui?).
Shrove Tuesday comes from the past tense of the word "shrive" (to obtain absolution for sins by confession and penance), and is more predominant in Great Britain, Canada, and Australia. It is the last day to receive the expected absolutions before the beginning of Lent.
And you thought it was just a big party in New Orleans. Get your alleluias in now, y'all!