Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 20, 2019 / Helena Ball
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 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.