7 Things You Didn't Know about Mardi Gras

Feb 01, 2016
Mardi Gras, also known as “Fat Tuesday” in French, falls on February 9th this year - the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Get ready to put your party hat on and celebrate this popular cultural phenomenon. Explore seven things you may not know about this Pre-Lenten festival.
  1. Mardi Gras Marks the End of Carnival Season
    Countries around the world celebrate Mardi Gras as the last day of Carnival season, which starts after Christmas, on January 6th - also known as ‘Twelfth Night’.
  2. The First North American Mardi Gras
    You may be surprised, but the first North American Mardi Gras parade wasn’t in New Orleans, it was in Alabama back in 1699.
  3. Parades are Planned by ‘Krewes’
    Krewes are organizations that put on a parade and/or a ball for Mardi Gras during the Carnival season. Their members are assessed fees in order to pay for the parade or ball. Fees can range from thousands of dollars a year per person for the most elaborate parades to as little as $20 a year for smaller clubs. Krewes are also responsible for selecting carnival royalty in New Orleans, such as ‘Rex’, the king of Mardi Gras.
  4. The Official Colors of Mardi Gras
    The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple, gold and green. Purple signifies justice, gold means power, and green stands for faith.
  5. Masks are Required by Law for Float Riders
    You read that right, it’s illegal to ride on a float without a mask! The original purpose of the mask was to get rid of social constraints for the day, allowing people to mingle with whomever they chose.
  6. Mardi Gras Beads & Throws
    The throwing of trinkets to the crowds was started in the early 1870s by the Twelfth Night Revelers, and is a time-honored expectation for young and old alike.
  7. Mardi Gras is a State Holiday in Some Places
    Fat Tuesday is an official state holiday in Alabama, Florida, and parts of Louisiana. Although it’s not a state holiday in Texas, Galveston is home to one of the biggest celebrations in the country!

Posted by: Kimi Sakamoto