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Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

Date: Feb 19 2007

Themes: Holidays, Music, Party


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Mardi Gras is tomorrow!

Similar celebrations around the world are Pancake Day in the UK and Carnival, a week-long celebration in Mexico, Brazil and many other countries. But in the US, it’s Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday.” “Mardi” is French for Tuesday and “gras” is French for fat. Fat Tuesday is so called because it is considered the last day to party before Lent.

Lent is the first day of the approximately 40-day season in which Christians are expected to fast and to abstain from most forms of indulgence. Lent always starts on “Ash Wednesday” and ends just before Easter.

While many Christians take Lent seriously, plenty of non-Christians celebrate Mardi Gras. The biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the US is without a doubt in New Orleans. The city hosts thousands and thousands of tourists who flock to the city for Mardi Gras festivities every year. The music that the city is famous for fills the streets with musicians and revelers.

Listen to Kevin and Marni talk about Mardi Gras in New Orleans.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Kevin:  Last Saturday I went to this great little jazz club over in the Pearl District.

Marni:  Oh really?

Kevin:  It was so enjoyable. I don’t, I don’t get to see… I don’t go to a lot of jazz but it was really fun.

Marni:  Oh. You know Mardi Gras was last week, speaking of jazz.

Kevin:  That’s right. Have you been?

Marni:  I have never been but I’ve always wanted to go.

Kevin:  It’s really fun.

Marni:  Yeah? So…

Kevin:  It’s really crazy.

Marni:  So, yeah, I can only imagine.

Kevin:  Well, there’s just music… I mean, if you love music…

Marni:  Mm hm.

Kevin:  There’s music everywhere.

Marni:  OK.

Kevin:  There’s just, I mean, you know, thousands of people in the streets and…

Marni:  Wow.

Kevin:  Bars are packed and there’s just, you know, the parades are fun. So if you’re into music, I mean, it’s… people go for many reasons but….

Marni:  Right.

Kevin:  It’s really such a fantastic jazz town and…

Marni:  Well I want to go just to go to New Orleans just to see what’s happened since Hurricane Katrina. And it was such a beautiful, rich, historical city…

Kevin:  Yeah, the French Quarter...

Marni:  Absolutely. The bayou and… yeah. Just see…

Kevin:  It’s really fun.

Marni:  Yeah. I’d like to go… OK, sorry. That’s bad!



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People in the US do say Fat Tuesday, but most people say Mardi Gras, even though it is French. Both Marni and Kevin say Mardi Gras. That may be because they are referring specifically to the New Orleans celebration, which everyone calls Mardi Gras because of the strong French influence on the city’s culture.

Kevin says that Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a blast, especially for music lovers.

When he mentions the Pearl District, he is referring to a neighborhood in Portland.

Marni is very curious to go to New Orleans to see how the city has recovered from Hurricane Katrina. She wants to visit the city because of its rich cultural history.

When Marni says Mardi Gras was last week, she is mistaken. It is actually tomorrow! Mardi Gras falls on a different date each year. This is because it always precedes Ash Wednesday, the date of which is dependent on Easter. Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.

Marni and Kevin end their conversation because they thought they were out of time. But they could have said more. That’s why Marni says she’s sorry. She felt bad that she ended the dialog prematurely.

Does your country celebrate Mardi Gras?

Have you ever been to a big Mardi Gras celebration?



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its conversation is very quickly

03:05 PM Dec 30 2011 |




good lesson, I love music:)

11:13 AM Dec 30 2008 |




Very interesting

06:23 PM Mar 31 2008 |



Palestinian Territory, Occupied

It is full of information I have been asking about long time age without getting any convinced answer .Thanks a lot English Baby

07:37 PM Feb 19 2007 |



United States

dont forget Chinsese New Year!

03:46 PM Feb 19 2007 |




hello Evangelina
how are you
thanks for accepting my friendship offer
please do write me..
so we can discuss about english skills..
take care

01:20 PM Feb 19 2007 |



Some Nice Vocabulary!

06:21 AM Feb 19 2007 |

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