Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 19, 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.
The Saints appreciation parade will likely roll at 5 PM on Tuesday February 9 from the Superdome and will travel down Loyola to Howard around Lee Circle up St. Charles Avenue to Canal making a loop on Canal Street to Convention Center Blvd ending near the Morial Convention Center. Zulu - Mardi Gras morning The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club parade is well known for its interesting history (it originated over 100 years ago as an African American organization satirizing the White krewes during the era of racial segregation) and "golden nugget" (coconut) parade throws. Kid s Parade: Stages on 15th Street west of Beck Ave. and will travel on Beck Ave. to 11th St. and disband. Kid s Parade immediately follows the Pet Parade. Today the celebration of Mardi Gras/carnival has very little to do with religion.
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.