Today is Mardi Gras, literally, "greasy Tuesday", or "Tuesday greasy", to be more accurate, since some languages like to put the noun first and the adjective second, and use other Yoda-like constructs. In English, it's apparently "Shrove Tuesday" or "Fat Tuesday".
In German, it's part of Fasching or Fastnacht, which, etymologically, derive from fasting.
In Finnish, the word "laskiainen", a word similar to descent ("lasku") or descending ("laskeutua"). Religious entities claim that "laskiainen" means descending from normal life to fasting. Ask anybody else, and the answer is that it refers to the most popular Mardi Gras amusement, descending down a hill on a pulk (yes, it is an English word, comes from the Finnish "pulkka").
Linguistics aside, a fun cultural fact: Fasching in Germany looks very much like 1st of May in Finland, in terms of people wearing funny clothes.