Facts about Mardi Gras you never knew

With sayings like “Confetti in my hair, cocktail in my hand” and “We don’t hide madness, we display it in the street,” there’s no celebration quite like Mardi Gras.

One of the most anticipated events every year, most of us know that Mardi Gras is a traditional winter festival complete with parades, fabulous costumes, exotic floats, dancing, drinking, food, and partying at its finest. There are also beads. Lots and lots of beads.

With a rich history and raucous celebrations all over the world, here are interesting things you probably didn’t know about Mardi Gras!

First: What is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday that has its origins in medieval Europe.

Translated from French as “Fat Tuesday,” Mardi Gras is officially celebrated the day before Lent kicks off the day after Ash Wednesday.

Mardi Gras marks the last day of indulgence thoughIt’s the season of Lent that runs on The 40 days before Easter were set aside for meditation, penitence, and strict fasting practices.

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), and the weeks leading up to it, allowed last-day churchgoers to have a celebratory final feast and purify the pantry of rich foods like meats, egg butter, milk, lard, and cheese that were off limits during it. lent.

Mardi Gras lasts several weeks

The weeks leading up to Mardi Gras are known as Carnival, a word derived from latin”Karen FallIt means “goodbye to meat.”

While modern fast rules have been relaxed in churches, which only require abstinence from meat on Ash Wednesday and Friday during Lent, Mardi Gras is celebrated and celebrated all over the world to this day.

Many cities around the world have a variety of events, parades, and balls throughout the Carnival season leading up to Mardi Gras.

The carnival season begins on the twelfth day of Christmas

Often thought to come before, the Twelfth Day of Christmas on January 5 (and sometimes January 6 depending on the location) is the start of the carnival season and the festivities leading up to Mardi Gras.

This day known as the Epiphany celebrates the day the three kings (magi) visited the baby Jesus in Bethlehem as well as the baptism of Jesus and God appearing through the baby Jesus.

Mardi Gras customs are linked to pagan traditions dating back thousands of years

Many Mardi Gras traditions can be traced back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the Roman festivals of Saturnalia (in honor of Saturn’s god of wealth, abundance, and agriculture) and Lupercalia (a day to promote fertility) whose earliest known recording is from the third century BC.

The tradition of wearing masks and costumes dates back to the 13th century in Venice

Mardi Gras has been a time to let loose. Centuries ago, this was also the only time of the year when the upper and lower classes were allowed to mix together. This does not mean that you want your friends, family, and neighbors to know what kind of mischief you were involved in and with whom.

This is why celebrants in 13th-century Venice began wearing masks and costumes to hide their identities while participating in the often joyous festivities. The masks also added an element of artistic flair, mystery, and intrigue to the parties. Mask making became an art by the 15th century, and Venice is still known for it to this day.

Wearing beautiful, ornate, decorative masks is popular all over the world and remains one of the popular Mardi Gras traditions.

New Orleans wasn’t the first city in the United States to celebrate Mardi Gras

The first Mardi Gras celebration in the United States was held in the coastal town of Mobile, Alabama, in 1703 by the original French settlers.

Mobile still holds one of the most popular and family-friendly Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States with an array of parties, balls, and parades.

You can also visit Mobile Carnival Museum Learn all about the “birthplace of Mardi Gras” in the United States

Mardi Gras doesn’t always fall on the same date

Mardi Gras always falls on the Tuesday 47 days before Easter. But since the date of Easter changes from year to year, so does the date of Mardi Gras.

Easter is determined as the first Sunday after the full moon after the first day of spring (March 20, 20).

Here are their future dates for Mardi Gras:

  • 2023-21 Feb
  • 2024-February 13
  • 2025-March 4
  • 2026-February 17
  • 2027-9 Feb

Make sure to mark it on your calendar if you are planning to celebrate or travel for any occasion.

Mardi Gras is celebrated across the United States in strong cities French, Spanish and Catholic influences

Plus New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Mobile AL Other cities host major Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States Biloxi, Mississippi, Pensacola, Florida, Tampa, Florida, Lafayette, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, San Diego, California and Galveston, Texas.

St. Louis has the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States

Although their celebrations only began in the 1980s, St. Louis, Missouri, founded in 1764 by French fur traders, now claims to have taken over New Orleans as the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.

Mardi Gras celebrations and the Carnival season take place all over the world and go by many names

Mardi Gras celebrations take place all over the world where Roman Catholicism is popular and French, Spanish and Anglican ancestry dominates.

Mardi Gras celebrations around the world go by many names, including:

  • Marof Tuesday (Pancake Day) in the United Kingdom
  • Fettisdagen in Sweden
  • Martidi Grasso in Italy
  • J’Ouvert in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Martes de Carnaval in Mexico
  • Carnival in Germany
  • Carnival in Brazil
  • Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada
  • Maslenitsa in Russia

Mardi Gras’ colors of purple, green, and gold are symbolic

In 1872, the Rex was a group formed and commissioned as a welcome and entertainment committee for Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia who was visiting New Orleans during that year’s carnival season.

As part of the festivities, they planned the first fun and friendly daytime parade for all in New Orleans to enjoy as nighttime pageants were already popular.

Gold, green, and purple were chosen by the group to prepare the town for the festivities and they instructed local newspapers to print instructions that all porches be decked out in purple, green, and gold.

The colors stuck and the color palette became official a few decades later during the Mardi Gras themed “Color Symbolism” parade.

The colors used to this day. While the reason for choosing these particular colors is debated, it is believed that:

  • Purple signifies justice
  • Green means faith
  • Gold is a symbol of power

These colors have also often been used on the flags and crests of royal families throughout time.

More than 70 social organizations called “Krewes” participate in and organize Mardi Gras celebrations each year.

Each Krewe is unique, and each has its own series of parade floats and costumes, customs, events, balls, cultural affiliations, and Mardi Gras history.

Every year, each krewe chooses a new theme to design their floats and costumes.

The “Carnival King” is chosen every year

A coveted position, the annually chosen king receives a symbolic golden key to the city and then decides it is time to lock up and celebrate the city. This tradition started with the REX organization.

Bonuses thrown from Mardi Gras floats during the parades are called “tosses”. Yelling “throw me something mister” is how you get some.

A favorite experience during Mardi Gras parades is the throwing of baubles and candy from the wagon riders. While beads are one of the most popular Mardi Gras throws to collect, you can also get other prizes like doubloons, plastic cups, stuffed animals, toys, and more.

Some of the most sought after ornaments are the signature throws handcrafted by “krewes”.

The Zulu krewe inspired this tradition of creating signature throws when they began handing out coconuts in New Orleans in 1910. Undecorated at first, they later decorated the coconuts with ornaments and designs.

They were a huge success, and The Practice inspired other members to create their signature hand-decorated throws.

Today’s collectible covers include shoes decorated by the Krewe of Muses, bags by Mystic Krewe of Nyx, sunglasses by Krewe of Iris, genie lamps by Krewe of Alla, and many more.

Mask wearing is illegal in New Orleans… except for Mardi Gras

A tradition borrowed from the Venetian Carnival, the tradition of wearing masks at Mardi Gras was not only a fun way to dress up, but take part in the festivities regardless of class while protecting their reputation. Today, the mask-wearing tradition continues.

While wearing a mask is illegal year-round in New Orleans, things change during Mardi Gras.

It is a violation of the law not to wear a mask during a Mardi Gras parade.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans has been canceled forever.

In fact, at one point, city leaders were prepared to deal with Mardi Gras once and for all because it often led to outrageous and destructive behavior.

In 1857, things turned around, when Mystic spherical from Comus He took to replacing the original messy and corrupt Mardi Gras celebrations with a more organized and structured event featuring lavish balls and shows instead.

It was these macabre and extravagant celebrations that saved Mardi Gras and established New Orleans as the Mardi Gras capital of the country.

‘The Greasing of the Poles’ is one of New Orleans’ weirdest Mardi Gras traditions

For more than five decades Sonesta Hotel New Orleans (300 Bourbon Street) began smearing petroleum jelly on the columns of the building supporting the front of the building to prevent rowdy showmen from climbing the hotel columns and then onto their balconies.

This practice Now an annual tradition and major event With celebrities, music and world fame. It even marks the official start of the Mardi Gras weekend festivities in the French Quarter.

The King Cake is the official dessert of the Mardi Gras season and Carnival

Ring-shaped and sometimes braided to resemble a king’s crown, king cakes are frosted and decorated with yellow, green, and purple frosting.

This beloved rich cake was first brought to New Orleans from France in 1870 and is a cross between a sweet bread and a French pastry. And each cake comes with a prize baked inside!

Inside the King Cake is an ornament (usually a baby boy) that represents Jesus, luck, and prosperity. Whoever gets the “baby” in the King Cake slice is called the “King” or “Queen” for the day and is expected to bring the King Cake to the next event or host the next party.

Edible objects such as beans, pecans, or peas were also used as a “prize” for finding them.

Try making your own with these authentic ones recipe.

Mobile, Alabama was the first city to throw moon pies to paradegoers

A tradition that started during a 1967 parade, you can now find this Southern-born delicacy at New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations, too.

The Pennsylvania Dutch have their own delicious Mardi Gras tradition

The Pennsylvania Dutch call Mardi Gras Fastnacht, which is German for “fast night.” And every year they prepare a special fried donut called Fastnacht that is made and enjoyed on the day.

There are many different recipes for quick yacht, but one popular version is made with yeast-raised dough mixed with mashed potatoes.

Try this authentic Pennsylvania Dutch Fastnacht Recipe.

Mardi Gras recipes

Are you looking for the best Mardi Gras recipes?

We’ve got you covered! here 19 easy Cajun and Creole recipes to celebrate Mardi Gras. We think you’ll love these popular New Orleans-inspired dishes so much that you’ll want to celebrate these Mardi Gras recipes all year long!

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