The Easter season is right around the corner. If it seems like we just got through the Christmas holidays, we did, but this year, the Easter Bunny is hopping down the bunny trail really early.

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is February 9. That's the day that everyone parties like they're in New Orleans and flashing people for beads. It's also the day that Catholics traditionally eat like lunatics in anticipation of fasting and giving things up for Lent. So why is Easter season so early this year?

Ash Wednesday is always 46 days before Easter. Easter Sunday falls between March 23 to April 25. The exact Sunday it is celebrated always changes because it coincides with the first Sunday after the full moon following a spring equinox.

So why is the Catholic Church concerned about the spring equinox and what does it have to do with Easter? Mardi Gras actually started life as a pagan celebration of springtime and fertility, which is why we have bunnies and eggs wrapped up with the crucifixion of Christ. When the Romans decided to stop worshiping gods and go with God, they kept some of the pagan traditions and turned them into Christian ones.

So, now that you know the history behind Mardi Gras, get your beads ready!