Are you traveling to New Orleans, Louisiana to celebrate Mardi Gras this month? Whether you are traveling or simply plan to attend a local event for this carnival season, here are 7 fun facts about Mardi Gras that you may not know.
7 Fun Facts About Mardi Gras
Ever wonder what Mardi Gras means?
- In French, Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and marks the end of carnival season. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40 day period of fasting before Easter. With that Mardi Gras is the last time you can indulge in your favorite foods and drinks before giving them up for fasting.
Most confuse Mardi Gras as the start of the festival season, in New Orleans the parades usually start more than a month before.
- Carnival season starts on January 6th, the 12th day after Christmas.
- The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple, gold and green. Purple signifies justice, gold signifies power and green stands for faith.
- The first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans with floats was hosted on February 24, 1857.
- A well known world-wide tradition during carnival season is to eat King’s cake. People hide a trinket baby Jesus inside the cake and it is said whoever gets it in their piece of cake is to have good luck all year!
- Mardi Gras masks were first introduced to get rid of social constraints for the day, allowing people to mingle with whomever they chose. It is a law in New Orleans that float riders must wear a mask.
- Most years Mardi Gras brings over 1.4 million people to New Orleans. If you plan to visit, book your travel in advance. Some hotels and houses, rent over a year ahead of time.
Have you ever attended carnival season in New Orleans? What was your experience?