It’s officially Fat Tuesday everyone! One of the days of year us New Orleanians LIVE for. The parades, the food, the drinks, the culture…it’s all so wonderful! During this time of year New Orleans is just filled with such an overwhelming spirit.
Although many people know what Mardi Gras is, they have no idea as to why New Orleanians celebrate it. Orgins of Mardi Gras go as far back as the 17th Century. People of French-Catholic descent would party and feast as much as possible, before entering the Lent Season. Weekly festivities (such as society balls) would begin on “King’s Day, and then on Lundi Gras a grand parade would take place. During this parade, a procession of masked horseback riders carrying flamed torches would march down the street. On the actual Mardi Gras day, 16 men carrying a bull’s head would parade down the street signaling to the townspeople that Ash Wednesday would be beginning the next day.
To this day, many of the original traditions that were used to celebrate Mardi Gras still take place. Elegant society balls hosted by carnival organizations are widespread throughout the New Orleans area during the Mardi Gras season. We still attend extravagant parades and party non-stop before entering the Lent Season. And several individuals “pig out” on as many fatty foods and alcoholic beverages as possible before “giving up” something for the Lent fast.
*My alma mater Warren Easton High School marching band, Bacchus 2016 Parade.
*Parade float at Bacchus 2016 Parade.
Mardi Gras is a beloved tradition throughout the Louisiana area, and continues to grow even larger with every year. If you’ve never been to New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season then you are doing yourself a grand injustice. I guarantee you, you’ll have some of the best fun of your life. Make sure to add Mardi Gras 2017 to calendar next year. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
I hope you all enjoyed this brief Mardi Gras lesson!