Mardi Gras Traditions

Most people who live close to New Orleans think of Mardi Gras as an annual holiday where everyone gets out of work and school to eat, drink and hang out at parades. It’s always a surprise when someone not from New Orleans explains to them no one else in the United States has a week off during the carnival season.

Where and When did Mardi Gras Begin?

The history either starts in France and was brought here by Ibervillein 1699 or it started in the times of Rome when the church was trying to figure out how to convert pagan traditions into the Christian season of Lent. Either way, the first documented parade was in 1837 but over the years the chaos of these parades almost cause the end of Mardi Gras before it even had a chance. Lucky for us years later a group of people who Krewe organized a peaceful parade which started the tradition of Mardi Gras Krewes that we still have today.

Why you need to check out a Mardi Gras Ball?

Ever dream of eating great food with royalty? Well, that’s the concept of a Mardi Gras ball. The Krewe puts on a full Black tie event. Catered dinner, drinks and usually some very good musical entertainment. In the end, they introduce the royalty while you enjoy this locals tradition. Cost for this one can be around $150 per person at the time this was written for the Endymion ball.

Its all about the food during Mardi Gras Season

As you look out across the parade route during mardi gras you will see the biggest tailgate party of your life. Please will have everything from a small bbq pit to what appears like their entire kitchen on the parade route. The foods you can expect start with traditional Cajun foods like gumbo and Jambalaya and they end at huge donut style cakes called King Cakes…… plus every other food you can think of in between.

Why do they throw beads for Mardi Gras

The best explanation we could find on this one is below.

The International Business Times explains:

“The tradition of bead throwing starts with their original colors. The color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872. He wanted the colors to be royal colors – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith. The idea was to toss the color to the person who exhibited the color’s meaning.”