LISTEN & LEARN in Easy English
All About Mardi Gras

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • festive: cheerful, exciting, celebratory
  • celebrate: to participate in fun activities because of a special event
  • parade: a public show of marching bands and floats moving through a street
  • tradition: a practice that a certain culture participates in for a specific event

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Mardi Gras is a festive celebrated all around the world. Mardi Gras parades often include colourful floats, feathered , and lots of food. The name “Mardi Gras” is French, translating into “Fat Tuesday” in English. The celebration originated as a religious holiday, marking the day the Christian tradition of Lent. Christians would often make pancakes on this day to use up all of the milk, , and eggs in their houses. This became known as Pancake Day, and later as Mardi Gras when people began to celebrate it in France. Today, Mardi Gras is celebrated by people of all . In some places – such as New Orleans, Louisiana – the parties and parades can last for two weeks.

Comprehension questions

1. The English translation of "Mardi Gras" is

Correct! Wrong!

The English translation of "Mardi Gras" is "Fat Tuesday".

2. Mardi Gras is now celebrated by

Correct! Wrong!

Mardi Gras is now celebrated by people of all cultures.

3. In places like New Orleans, Mardi Gras celebrations can last for

Correct! Wrong!

In places like New Orleans, Mardi Gras celebrations can last for two weeks.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you celebrate Mardi Gras? If so, what kinds of traditions do you have? If not, what other holidays do you celebrate, and what kinds of traditions do you have for those holidays?

Transcript

Mardi Gras is a festive holiday celebrated all around the world. Mardi Gras parades often include colourful floats, feathered
masks, and lots of food. The name “Mardi Gras” is French, translating into “Fat Tuesday” in English. The celebration originated as a religious holiday, marking the day before the Christian tradition of Lent. Christians would often make pancakes on this day to use up all of the milk, butter, and eggs in their houses. This became known as Pancake Day, and later as Mardi Gras when people began to celebrate it in France. Today, Mardi Gras is celebrated by people of all cultures. In some places— such as New Orleans, Louisiana— the parties and parades can last for two weeks.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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