Mardi Gras is the French name for Fat Tuesday. Why is it fat? The name comes from the tradition of slaughtering and feasting upon a fattened calf on the last day of Carnival (French carne vale – or farewell to the meat). It marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent, which is usually observed by giving up something we love – like chocolate, or cigarettes, or gambling – as penance for our sins. Maybe that’s why February 11th was chosen for BC Family Day – it gives us a chance to celebrate before we have to give up fun for a month!