Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Eve Owen
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.
The parade continues from one end of the village to the other with most of the village inhabitants either looking from their windows or standing on the pavements and cheering on the flambeaux carriers. The whole thing reaches it s climax after about 45 minutes when the torches are thrown off the bridge and into the River Earn with the idea that with them all the village demons then float away and arrive at the next village. Across the Atlantic Ocean all the way to New Orleans at the Mardi Gras parade the highlight for many is also the Flambeaux Procession.
Refreshments will need to be more amazing than usual and the dances will need to be courtlier than ever before. Everything will take on a fancier appearance when masks with feathers and sequins appear at a party. Laughter is an automatic response to the sight of masks made with the look of antique feathers and sequins in a costume s design. It is nearly impossible not to smile at this soft finery. Every Hogmanay or New Years Eve in a small Perthshire village in Scotland the tradition of a parade being lead by flambeaux carriers lives on. The celebrations commence with the sounds of the pipe band (bagpipes and drums) and shortly before midnight the main road running from one end of the village to the other is closed off to traffic.