Let the good times roll with this week’s Mardi-Gras themed trivia challenge by Rachelle Marshall, reference librarian for the Whitman County Library. Mardi Gras is Tuesday.

The Whitman County Library’s online trivia challenge takes place at 5:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month on its Facebook page.

  • 1. What does Mardi Gras mean in French?
  • 2. In 1872, the official colors of Mardi Gras were established to honor a visiting member of a royal family. What country was he visiting from? (Bonus: What are the official colors of Mardi Gras?)
  • 3. What do the official colors of Mardi Gras stand for?
  • 4. Mardi Gras didn’t originate in Louisiana, but in which Southern state?
  • 5. “King Cakes” traditionally are baked with what object hidden inside?


  • 1. Fat Tuesday. Mardi is the French word for Tuesday, and Gras means fat. In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as Mardi Gras when merrymakers would binge on all the rich, fatty foods that remained in their homes prior to the beginning of Lent, which kicked off six weeks of eating a mostly fish-based diet.

  • 2. Russia. To honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexei Alexadrovich, local businessmen introduced his family colors of purple, gold and green as the official colors of Mardi Gras.

  • 3. Justice, power and faith. Purple stands for justice, gold stands for power and green stands for faith.

  • 4. Alabama. French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Monye d’Iberville arrived in what is now modern day Mobile, Ala., on Fat Tuesday in 1699. He dubbed the location Point du Mardi Gras.

  • 5. A tiny baby figurine. Tradition holds that whoever finds the toy must host the following year’s Mardi Gras Ball.

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