Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 22, 2019 / Laurel Hawkins
Mardi Gras Indians have been parading in New Orleans at least since the mid-19th century possibly before. It is February 24th/25th but we are extending the celebrations. Mardi Gras weekend kicks off on the Friday before February 24th with the Merchants Parade and the weekend holds all sorts of fun from gumbo cook-offs to Cajun food and music Children s activities various parades and the grand finale is the Krewe of Krewes Parade on Carl day. The parades are a big attraction. Get the Parade Schedule -- Since this is the main attraction for most visitors to Mardi Gras it s important to get the parade schedule as soon as possible so you can plan your itinerary.
Behind the band come six "strong men" from the village often the tradition of carrying the torch or flambeaux is passed from father to son as the elder gets on in years. They sometimes have a helper walking beside them just in case. It s a hard and difficult job. The torches are similar in length to a caber and have been soaked for many months to ensure they stay alight. The flambeaux are then followed by many floats in which the local inhabitants deck both the float and themselves out in a variety of colours and costumes. Many are topical political statements. The more whisky that s handed around the waiting crowd the funnier they seem.
The carriers here were traditionally slaves and some of them today may well be their descendants. It s a great way to start a Carnival off. If you are fortunate to enjoy the festivities why not dress up and be a part of it all? There are many Mardi Gras costumes for you to buy on line if you want to enter into the spirit of it all. Mardi Gras Beads or throws are a fun part of the Carnival festivities in New Orleans Louisiana. The Carnival season begins on Twelfth Night or January 6th. Carnival refers to the whole season from January 6 through Fat Tuesday which is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday or the beginning of the Lent season. Mardi Gras generally refers to Fat Tuesday only but many tourists describe the whole carnival season as Mardi Gras so locals began to refer to Fat Tuesday as Mardi Gras Day to alleviate any confusion. Festivities during the Carnival Season include parties or balls parades and king cake.