Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 19, 2019 / Imelda Chang
The carriers here were traditionally slaves and some of them today may well be their descendants. It s a great way to start a Carnival off. If you are fortunate to enjoy the festivities why not dress up and be a part of it all? There are many Mardi Gras costumes for you to buy on line if you want to enter into the spirit of it all. Mardi Gras Beads or throws are a fun part of the Carnival festivities in New Orleans Louisiana. The Carnival season begins on Twelfth Night or January 6th. Carnival refers to the whole season from January 6 through Fat Tuesday which is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday or the beginning of the Lent season. Mardi Gras generally refers to Fat Tuesday only but many tourists describe the whole carnival season as Mardi Gras so locals began to refer to Fat Tuesday as Mardi Gras Day to alleviate any confusion. Festivities during the Carnival Season include parties or balls parades and king cake.
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.
The celebration of the last day before Lent dates back to at least the Middle Ages when men of noble lineage or accomplishment were knighted and formal banquets took place to honor the occasion. Mardi Gras which means Fat Tuesday in French as an alternate name for Shrove Tuesday was established in New Orleans while the city was under French control and was maintained as a major festival even when the territory was relinquished into Spanish hands as well as after the Louisiana Purchase was signed and the state of Louisiana officially joined the Union.