Mardi Gras Facts and History
What does Mardi Gras
The celebration of Mardi Gras—also known as Fat Tuesday or Pancake Day, depending on where you are—dates back to Medieval times in Europe. Feasting on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday, which begins the Lenten season of fasting, to be exact, the annual Carnival always kicks off 12 days after Christmas (January 6th) and continues until Fat Tuesday (the evening before Ash Wednesday.) It’s a period filled with celebrations, parades, balls, and parties, all of which culminate on Tuesday, February 13.
It’s basically all about ritualistic eating of generally unhealthy foods before forty days of fasting that accompany the season of Lent in the Catholic faith. According to Olivia Waxman, “Though the Mardi Gras festivals in New Orleans originated in this Christian tradition, today the celebration is better known as a day for people of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to come together at the parades, eat great food, and compete to catch beads, doubloons and other throws from the people wearing masks on the floats parading down the streets.
Note: Just so that it‘s clear, most people get
Mardi Gras Origin and History
How did mardi gras start and where did mardi gras originate?
All of this started when Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville a French-Canadian explorer arrived in Mobile, Alabama on a Fat Tuesday of the year 1699. Upon his
A few years after that, according to a research done by, Leah Silverman, In the year 1704, Mobile established a secret society (Masque de la Mobile), similar to those that form our current Mardi Gras krewes. It lasted until 1709. In 1710, the “Boeuf Gras Society” was formed and paraded from 1711 through 1861. The procession was held with a huge bull’s head pushed along on wheels by 16 men. Later, Rex would parade with an actual bull, draped in white and signaling the coming Lenten meat fast. This occurred on Fat Tuesday.
What is a Mardi Gras Krewe?
There is so much to Mardi Gras history and facts yet to be told. It wasn’t all fn before. There were years of massive suppression. According to Holly Hartman and Chris
Moreover, There are more than 70 secret societies (or “Krewes”) involved in today’s Mardi Gras festivals. Each Krewe builds a float to represent their specific theme on parade
What is the history behind Mardi Gras
Historically speaking, Mardi Gras may have originated at Mobile, Alabama but throughout the world,
What is the history behind Mardi Gras Parade?
And so after decades of suppression, the first official Mardi Gras parade took place in 1837. Parades and elegant balls continued in the following years, but by the early 1850s, had begun to wane in popularity.
At dawn on that most famous Tuesday, most people, hence watchers, hence fun-seekers have claimed the best spots on the streets to watch fabulous float parades, outrageous street performers, and possibly celebrities that have come to visit and participate in the
According to Holly Hartman and Chris Frantz, it was the year 1872 when a group of businessmen invented a King of Carnival, Rex, to preside over the first daytime parade. To honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff, the businessmen introduced Romanoff’s family colors of purple, green and gold as Carnival’s official colors.
What are the mardi gras colors and its meaning?
For the sake of elaboration, When asked why purple, green and gold? According to Leah Silverman, It is rumored that when Grand Duke Alexis visited in 1872, his welcoming committee handed out purple, green, and gold beads to the party-goers that year, as they were the colors of his home. The trio of shades came to symbolize the festivities and was later given meanings: purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith.
This was also the Mardi Gras season that Carnival’s improbable anthem, “If Ever I Cease to Love,” was cemented, due in part to the Duke’s fondness for the tune.
Mardi Gras Masks and Costumes?
You can wear a seemingly wide variety of outfits during a Mardi Gras celebration. Dress
Masks and costumes have been associated with Fat Tuesday celebrations for centuries. And even today of the masks commonly seen in New Orleans on Mardi Gras
How about Mardi Gras Music?
Music takes a huge part of the event as it keeps the parade and streets lively. The grand opening starts with a
What are the Mardi Gras traditions?
- According to Olivia B. Waxman King Cake is only eaten during Mardi Gras. Available only during the Mardi Gras season, king cake is typically made with brioche dough. Braided and laced with cinnamon, the dough is then glazed with purple, green and gold sugar or covered in icing in those same Mardi Gras colors. What really sets king cake apart from other desserts, however, is the small plastic baby hidden inside. Whoever finds the baby in his or her slice must buy the next cake or perhaps host the next party. Presently, the round cake, which nowadays comes decked out in green, gold and purple icing, dates back to the Middle Ages when European Christians feasted before the Lenten fasting season.
- It is illegal to wear masks in New Orleans except on Mardi Gras. Bear in mind, when visiting New Orleans that while it is almost customary to wear a mask during Mardi Gras celebration to fully embrace in the party-spirit, it is illegal to do so when the event is over. When the Mardi Gras Parade, Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball and Street Party of the festivity has come to end -Mardi Gras masks must be removed by 6:00 p.m. There has been a city ordinance at New Orleans restricting people to wear masks on any other day.
- Each Krewe hurls party favors into the crowds. Floats notoriously give out “throws,” which are exactly what they sound like: objects thrown into the crowd. They range from coconuts (given by the Krewe of Zulu) to stuffed animals or gold doubloons (by the Krewe of Rex). Beads are the most ubiquitous throws, which are given by almost everyone. It’s considered a great honor to receive a throw.
What are the Mardi Gras Decorations?
The throwing of beads and fake jewels, from parade floats to those watching down below, is thought to have started in the late 19th
According to Holly Hartman and Chris
People do outrageous things to catch the most throws. Some dress as priests, hoping the many Catholics on the floats will shower them with goodies. Others dress their children in eye-catching costumes and seat them, holding baskets to catch the loot, on ladders that tower over the crowds. Others give up on the costume ploy altogether, finding that taking clothes off can be the quickest attention-getter.