Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Lauri Cooke
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.
Masks made from pale pastel plumage with shiny sequins are standard fare at Mardi gras Carnival and masquerade parties. There s an allure and style to them possessed by no other costume element. Much is made of our desire to pretend and the imagination s ability to do so. Few activities give us the opportunity as readily as does the costume party. Frills and flourishes that have no other place are found in abundance at parades of show costume-clad dancers wearing yards of sequined fishnet and feathered elegance. None of it would have the same mystery without the elegance of the mask. These beautiful adornments have a history of their own that heralds back to court functions in pre-Revolutionary France. There s the hint of a palace in every feathery sequined one of them.
The major parades originate in the Uptown and Mid-City districts and pass through St Charles Avenue and Canal Street. After the main Zulu and Rex parades have passed through a number of smaller parades with truck floats and walking clubs make their way around the city. Spectators can revel in the colours and excitement of the parades costumes masks and catching as many of the famous beads as they can. Mardi Gras is an event that is being awaited by millions of people throughout the US. It is an event where a lot of people from all over the United States fly over to New Orleans to be a part of the mega celebrations.