Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 22, 2019 / Cecelia Montgomery
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.
And just because you re standing next to a bunch of old grandmother looking ladies dressed in high heels and playboy bunny outfits don t make the mistake of thinking your chances are any better. After all these ladies might be old but they have fast feet and the spikes on those heels. Wow better watch out! The Ever Changing Mardi Gras Celebration Dates So you ve eagerly waited and anticipated this year s carnival like celebrations but just when does the season begin and when does it end? The actual date always falls on a Tuesday between February 3rd and March 9th.
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.