Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Blanche Durham
After the founding of the Mystic Krewe of Comus in 1857 (and their nighttime torch-lit parade) the Krewe Of Rex established several key factors that would become staples for the entire Carnival tradition in 1872: the Mardi Gras flag the official colors of purple green and gold and the "royal anthem" of a song titled "If Ever I Cease To Love." In classic New Orleans style the song comes from a burlesque show entitled "Blue Beard" and features some of the craziest lyrics this side of a Christina Aguilera National Anthem performance: "If Ever I Cease To Love If Ever I Cease To Love/May cows lay eggs and fish grow legs If Ever I Cease To Love." Our very own Edward Branley recently told the fascinating story of how these insane lyrics have anything to do with Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras colors chosen by Rex king of carnival in 1892 are purple (for justice) green (for faith) and gold (for power). Generally Mardi Gras beads are a thin strip of beads made from plastic in one color only but the beads can come in every color under the sun. The most prized colors to receive are the Mardi Gras colors. Strands of bead also come in a wide variety of diameters and designs. The larger the beads and the more elaborate the design the more desirable the strand of beads. Carnival and specifically Mardi Gras Day is a fantastic way to spend time together as a family.
Beginning two weeks before Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day there is at least one parade daily. It is during these parades that the beads or throws are primarily used. The New Orleans parades are organized by Krewes which are member sponsored communities. During the course of the parade the krewe members toss out a number of different types of throws such as beads doubloons cups and stuffed animals or small toys. Make sure you bring a large bag pillow case or any other sturdy container to bring your "catch" home in. Prior to the 1960 s the beads were made from glass; however they are currently being made from plastic.