I was born on Mardi Gras. Eating for a living must have been foreordained.
There are plenty of Long Island restaurants joining in the revel today. Big Daddy's in Massapequa keeps a countdown clock on its website for Mardi Gras. It announces Fat Tuesday today with three exclamation points. The Bayou in Bellmore advises "this is the party of the year."
Mardi Gras also is known as Shrove Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent. The word "shrove" stems from a verb that means to confess. Traditionally, it would be a day of self-examination. That's obviously what's going on in New Orleans. They just do it differently there.
In some quarters, notably England, Mardi Gras also is dubbed Pancake Tuesday.
That came about because kitchens would get rid of the fats and excesses in advance of the six weeks of fasting or restraint preceding Easter. You need some fat to make pancakes.
This isn't to be confused with the distinctly commercial National Pancake Day, which was celebrated on Feb. 5. Although I'm more a waffle guy, I hope you didn't miss the festivities.
Either way, today let the good times roll, with or without candles.