Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 22, 2019 / Chris Burris
The traditional Mardi Gras King cake is thought to have been derived from this need to use up perishable items. Today Carnival and Mardi Gras are celebrated in many different fashions. Some only celebrate on the actual Tuesday before Ash Wednesday while others take full advantage of the time and attend many luncheons masked balls and parades. Parades are generally the highlight for the majority of those who observe Mardi Gras and though Mobile and New Orleans have the biggest and oldest celebrations many other communities all along the Gulf Coast are forming their own societies.
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 carnival celebration always begin on January 6th which is the Twelfth Night (feast of Epiphany) and gains momentum reaching its climax at Midnight on Mardi Gras the day before Ash Wednesday. Actual Dates of Mardi Gras for Next Decade But just how will you know which Tuesday it will be? Ash Wednesday will always be 46 days before Easter and Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday. So Easter can fall on any Sunday between March 23rd and April 25th and the exact date will coincide with the first Sunday after the full moon following a Spring Equinox.