Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Kelly Roberson
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 parades in New Orleans now begin up to three weeks before Mardi Gras with the Carnival season officially starting on the January 6th the Feast of Epiphany. The French Quarter of the city is the heart of the celebration which concludes promptly at midnight on Mardi Gras with the police asking revelers to scatter and the massive clean up getting under way. The krewe system was originally a hierarchical method that showcased the elite of the Carnival and usually New Orleans society. However in the latter part of the 20th century the exclusivity of the krewes was tempered by the formation of new more democratic krewes for which no credentials were required.
Mardi Gras Day is also known as the Fat Tuesday. It is an interesting fact that Mardi Gras came to New Orleans with the French colonists in the 18th century. You would be amazed to know that it is not only in New Orleans that this event takes place but it also occurs in many parts of the world. In United States Mardi Gras takes place at Detroit Galveston Island Mississippi Mobile Pensacola St. Louis Port Arthur San Diego etc. Mardi Gras also takes place in many other countries which includes Australia Argentina Belgium Brazil Caribbean Italy Mexico Panama Slovenia Sweden and Uruguay.