Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 22, 2019 / Cecelia Montgomery
Characterized by costumes bright decorations and general merriment often induced by the consumption of alcohol the celebration came close to being banned several times during the 19th century but the formation of a social organization (krewe) by six men and the resulting Carnival Parade on the evening of Mardi Gras in 1857 rejuvenated and restructured the mayhem. Though the festivities were halted for the duration of the Civil War they resumed in full force upon its conclusion. New krewes have been formed continuously since the first parade and are added as space allows annually.
The traditional Mardi Gras King cake is thought to have been derived from this need to use up perishable items. Today Carnival and Mardi Gras are celebrated in many different fashions. Some only celebrate on the actual Tuesday before Ash Wednesday while others take full advantage of the time and attend many luncheons masked balls and parades. Parades are generally the highlight for the majority of those who observe Mardi Gras and though Mobile and New Orleans have the biggest and oldest celebrations many other communities all along the Gulf Coast are forming their own societies.
The carnival celebration always begin on January 6th which is the Twelfth Night (feast of Epiphany) and gains momentum reaching its climax at Midnight on Mardi Gras the day before Ash Wednesday. Actual Dates of Mardi Gras for Next Decade But just how will you know which Tuesday it will be? Ash Wednesday will always be 46 days before Easter and Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday. So Easter can fall on any Sunday between March 23rd and April 25th and the exact date will coincide with the first Sunday after the full moon following a Spring Equinox.