Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 19, 2019 / Alta Gentry
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.
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.
And for those organizing their own party there are a few websites that specialize in very distinctive and unique party invitations for Mardi Gras and appropriate invitation wording samples. Catching Your Share of Those Mardi Gras Parade Throws The throwing of trinkets to the crowds watching parades (items thrown are known as doubloons) began during the 1870s by the Twelfth Night Revelers and continue to this day as a time-honored expectation for parade watchers of all ages. Over 100 years ago in 1884 Rex began using medallions instead of those previously used trinkets and those medallions are representative of today s doubloons (throws).