Today is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. The celebrations are in full swing in New Orleans. It's often called the biggest party of the year, and the revelry gets pretty decadent.

In the midst of it all, it's easy to forget that it is actually a Christian holiday and marks the beginning of the season of Lent. This non-stop celebration has been going on to a degree since early January. It just culminates with the big blowout today, and then believers (supposedly) give up pleasures for the Lenten season leading up to Easter.

The colors purple, gold, and green have meaning too. They represent Justice, Power, and Faith respectively. The Mardi Gras parades going on today feature those colors on beautiful floats rolling through the city.

I've been to New Orleans, but never for Mardi Gras. It's definitely on my short list. You can find out a lot more about the history and meaning behind Mardi Gras here at specials.msn.com . It's a fascinating story.