Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 19, 2019 / Shawn Mcgee
So if you happen to find yourself at your grandma s house on Mardi Gras night watching the Rex/Comus ball impress ya maw maw that you know that classic tune that keeps playing over and over. Maybe even sing a lyric or two. The oldest Mardi Gras song in the book is likely one of the most important songs in the history of our city. "May the moon be turned to green cream cheese If Ever I Cease To Love." Chuck Credo IV is a contributing author to GoNOLA.com the Official "What s Going On In New Orleans?" Blog with reviews of live music spots restaurants festivals art and so much more. GoNOLA is what you want to do on your next trip to New Orleans! Chuck Credo IV is a fourth generation New Orleans musician.
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.
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.