What to expect from Mardi Gras
Let the good times roll!
February 2012 by Amy
Mardis Gras is an elaborate celebration that conjures up many different thoughts around the United States and moreover, the world.
In 1699, the first people in North America learned of an amazing festival. Pierre le Moyne, a French explorer, brought the story of 'Mardi Gras' from his native country, France, to what is now Louisiana.
In French, Mardi Gras literally means 'Fat Tuesday', signifying the day prior to the start of Lent and the fasting season for Anglican and Catholic believers. For these people, Fat Tuesday is the last opportunity to revel in the delight of rich, decadent foods until after the Easter Holiday. In New Orleans, this food comes in the form of shrimp, crawfish, etoufees and jambalaya. For dessert, King Cake is the key. The cake has a small trinket inside and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations.
In the 1700's, Mardi Gras was celebrated much differently than today, in the form of a private costume ball. Not until much later that a group called the 'Mystik Krewe of Comus' begin the tradition of floats, parades and costume parties.
Mardi Gras as we have come to know it, is the defining event of the Carnival Celebration. In fact, the celebration has become so large; it is the greatest tourist attraction for the city of New Orleans; drawing nearly 80,000 participants and revelers.
Mardi Gras events take place all over the world. These places include: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Barranquilla, Colombia; Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; Quebec City, Canada; Mazatlan, Mexico and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Fun Facts about Mardi Gras:
- Each year 750,000 King Cakes are sold in New Orleans, while 50,000 more are shipped to other states.
- The celebration brings in $840 million in revenues for New Orleans alone.
- The official colors of Mardi Gras: purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power) were picked in 1872, but weren't given their meanings until 1892.
- The first "throw" took place in 1871, when someone dressed as Santa Claus handed out gifts to the crowd from a float in the Twelfth Night Revelers parade.
With Mardi Gras just around the corner, make sure to review our picks for hosting the perfect Mardi Gras party and select your perfect Mardi Gras invitations!
reference: Party Invitations