Mardi Gras also known as Carnival is a time to let lose, party hard and bare it all. It is the celebration revelry, debauchery and mayhem for the two weeks leading to Fat Tuesday, the eve of Ash Wednesday. The festivities include dancing, drinking and dressing in elaborate Mardi Gras costumes while parading in the streets.
The purpose of Mardi Gras is to create an outlet to “get your jollies out” before the start of lent. Lent is a Christian season of penitence and self-denial when followers participate in a modified fast. This fast may include giving up a favorite food or drink for 40 days and nights leading up to Easter Sunday. Hence, the time of Carnival is sort of like a last ditch effort to indulge in your favorite sinful things.
Mardi Gras’ origins date back to Medieval times but here in the US we can date the tradition back to the 1600s’s in New Orleans. Today, New Orleans is still the most famous place in the United States for celebrating but anyone can have a Mardi Gras party.
The traditional colors or Mardi Gras are purple, gold and green. The meaning of the colors is purple for justice, gold with power and green for faith. Costumes for Mardi Gras range for very risqué to elaborate. You can find costumes for men, women and everything in between. Even if you decide not to wear a Mardi Gras outfit you cannot go without the most important accessory: beads.
Stayed tuned for my next blog when I tell you all the things you can do with Mardi Gras beads.