Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French, and gets its name from the custom of consuming all of the fat-laden foods that will be forbidden after the start of the Christian period of Lent.
Lent is a time of fasting and prayer for 40 days (not counting Sundays) that begins on Ash Wednesday. It is traditionally when many Christians will give up foods and other habits that they enjoy as a spiritual exercise in preparation for Easter. Mardi Gras is the last hurrah before this period of deprivation and was first celebrated in what is now the United States by French explorers in Louisiana in 1699.
To this day, one US city is synonymous with Mardi Gras, which is why we’ve selected three sapphic books set in New Orleans.