Carnival ended earlier this week for most of the Catholic world as Fat Tuesday (French: Mardi Gras; Italian: Martedì Grasso) and the season of Epiphany gave way to Ash Wednesday (Italian: Mercoledì delle Ceneri) and the penitential season of Lent. However, while the carnival crowds and festivities have dissipated in such cities as Rio, Venice, Cologne and New Orleans in the wake of Lent’s sober arrival, the city of Milan is still in the throes of its carnival season. This is due to the Ambrosian Rite, an ancient liturgical rite of the Catholic Church that is used in the archdiocese of Milan and differs from the more common Roman Rite in one important respect – the season of Lent starts four days later. In Milan, there is no Fat Tuesday or Ash Wednesday. Instead, the culmination of the Carnival Ambrosiano takes place on Fat Saturday (Sabato Grasso), and the following day, a Sunday, is the first day of Lent, which includes the imposition of ashes.

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