Does this Tuesday make me look fat?

Today is Fat Tuesday, better known as Mardi Gras. Which got us thinking: where does Mardi Gras rank among the best drinking holidays of the year? We did some highly scientific calculations to find out.

Honorable Mentions:

Valentine’s Day — If you’re in a relationship, meh. If you’re not, go nuts.
Mother’s Day — Catch a chardonnay buzz with Mom!
Father’s Day — Get drunk on light beer with Pops!
Labor Day — Long weekend: Nice. Summer’s Over: Not nice.
Christmas — Just don’t get so drunk you can’t figure out wrapping paper.

The Top Ten:

10) Super Bowl Sunday. It’s the culmination of a full season of eating and drinking to excess because football is on the TV. But we have to dock the Super Bowl some points because it’s followed by a not-so-super Monday morning.

9) Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is amazing, if you’re in New Orleans or another city that goes hard for the last day before Lent. If you’re not, it’s just a Tuesday in February. Moral of the story: Get on a flight to New Orleans right now.

8) Oktoberfest. Is this cheating to put a two-week festival on a list of holidays? Maybe, but Oktoberfest makes the list because it’s awesome. Beautiful fall weather, huge steins of beer, pretzels, oom-pah music… OK maybe scratch that last one.

7) Kentucky Derby. You don’t have to go to Kentucky to put on a funny hat, drink mint juleps and pretend you know anything at all about horse racing on the first Saturday in May. Bonus points if you drink your juleps from a baller silver cup.

6) Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s surprising victory over– Oh you’re just here for the margaritas? Gotcha, thanks for your honesty.

5) Thanksgiving. Now we’re getting to the elite drinking holidays. The night before Thanksgiving, you hit some questionable local bars with friends. Then you’ve got Thanksgiving itself, when the beer, wine and post-dinner drinks flow freely. It adds up to a sneaky-great drinking holiday.

4) Halloween. It’s the holiday you loved as a kid (costumes and candy!) made even better (costumes and booze!).

3) Independence Day. You’re not drinking for “fun” on the Fourth of July. No, you’re doing your patriotic duty. Nice American flag tank top, BTW.

2) St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, St. Patrick’s Day can fall on a weekday, which is a logistical challenge, But if you’re doing St. Pat’s right, it’s a multi-day-and-night celebration of [pick one: your Irish heritage / magic leprechauns]. Also, you’re making boozy shamrock shakes.

1) New Year’s Eve. You’ve navigated all the family time of the holidays. Now, it’s time for a different kind of holiday. You drink while you wait for midnight, drink at midnight, then drink some more after midnight. And it’s all guilt-free because you’re totally going to be healthy and productive — starting tomorrow.

Please Note: This article was originally posted on 2/28/11 and updated on 2/14/23.