Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Hester Higgins
The celebration of the last day before Lent dates back to at least the Middle Ages when men of noble lineage or accomplishment were knighted and formal banquets took place to honor the occasion. Mardi Gras which means Fat Tuesday in French as an alternate name for Shrove Tuesday was established in New Orleans while the city was under French control and was maintained as a major festival even when the territory was relinquished into Spanish hands as well as after the Louisiana Purchase was signed and the state of Louisiana officially joined the Union.
The parades in New Orleans now begin up to three weeks before Mardi Gras with the Carnival season officially starting on the January 6th the Feast of Epiphany. The French Quarter of the city is the heart of the celebration which concludes promptly at midnight on Mardi Gras with the police asking revelers to scatter and the massive clean up getting under way. The krewe system was originally a hierarchical method that showcased the elite of the Carnival and usually New Orleans society. However in the latter part of the 20th century the exclusivity of the krewes was tempered by the formation of new more democratic krewes for which no credentials were required.
You do not want to spoil the carnival by ordering food that is bland or tasteless. So be sure to check and taste before you place your order. The other important thing is you need to buy and stock gifts to be given to children and guests. Select the appropriate gifts and then wrap them up in decorative papers. The host needs to bear in mind to keep up the spirits during the carnival. It is also advisable to stock yourself up with some bright colors or body paint as this is a usual custom during mardi gras to paint others in all sorts of colors and patterns. Care should be taken to use skin friendly colors for this purpose.