Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the traditional start of Lent. It is the last day for many Roman Catholics to go whole hog on rich, fatty foods (and other things) before giving them up until Easter. Carnival refers to the festive period between Epiphany (January 6) and Ash Wednesday that ends on Mardi Gras. Both Mardi Gras and Carnival feature large public celebrations with processions, dancing, music and masquerade. Most people think of New Orleans as the place to go for Mardi Gras, and while it is one of our picks, there are many other destinations where you can celebrate both Mardi Gras and Carnival.