1) Gold, Green and Purple pride
Many people know that purple, green and gold are colors of Mardi Gras, but where they came from? In 1872, Duke of Russia attended Mardi Gras and New Orleans held a reception in his honor. The Duke’s royal colors were gold, green and purple, and since then these colors became official hues of this yearly celebration. Gold represents power, Green symbolizes faith and purple signifies justice.
2) Masked Mayhem
Masks are major part of this annual festival, so important part that one who is not wearing can get arrested. This mask wearing was just started as ploy to conceal identities and get away with mischief, but nowadays it is law that all float riders must wear masks.
3) Elite Krewes
Not anyone can hop onto float during the carnival. Every year, krewes – groups of attendees, have to pay annual fees to ride floats in Mardi Gras. There are more than 50 krewes since late 1800s, and it is difficult to create a new krewe. The main thing is krewe registrations require at least 500 people and 14 floats to participate in parade.
4) Colorful King Cakes
The tradition of king cakes stems from strong Christian faith and celebration of three kings. Party planners and bakeries make delicious dessert from baked Danish dough and insert plastic baby in the cake before garnishing it with green, purple and gold toppings. If the person, who is attending King Cake party, receives slice with baby then he/she will have good luck all year and will be in charge of next party.
5) Sought-after shoes
Since early 1990s, beads have been most popular parade throws. But, nowadays, there is first all-female krewes – known as Krewe of Muses, which has distinct throw. This krewe designs hand-decorated shoes which are tossed out to the crowd as a treasure. These hand-made shoes are embellished with feathers, bells and glitter, which take few days to make.
6) Pancake Party
Mardi Gras is translated as ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French and is marked as last day before lent fasting. It encourages treating yourself with abundant drinks and food. In Ireland, United Kingdom and Australia, this day is celebrated as Pancake day and Christians eat plentiful of pancakes.
7) Why beads are thrown at Mardi Gras?
In 1880s, a man dressed as Santa Claus threw beads and got such fame that other krewes followed it. Nowadays, krewes buy plastic beads and threw at locals.
8) Weight of Revelry
It is estimated that more than 25 million pounds of items get thrown out from floats. Locals love to visit New Orleans and recycle beads for next year festivities.
More about Mardi Gras
The city shuts down for this carnival and preparations begun a week prior; even some events and parades start early than that. The oldest krewe in this event is Rex, which dates back to Civil War. This krewe is king of carnival and has epic regal floats with more than 2 dozen riders.
How to reach here?
As Mardi Gras has already begun, so you can make your Air Europa airlines flight reservations even at last minute to United States, and can attend this carnival celebration.