Learn About The Traditions Of The New Orleans Mardi Gras Celebration

The Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans is known around the globe. It is a joyful time of dancing, Kings, bands, parades and Mardi Gras colors and Krewes.

The citizens of New Orleans really know how to throw a party that lasts for days and visitors that come to the city to share in the good time leave with memories that last a lifetime.

Parade Krewes of Mardi Gras

There are numerous Mardi Gras Krewes that participate in the celebrations and especially the parades. Featured parade Krewes includes the Krewe of Bacchus. Their specialty is featuring celebrity monarchs of national renown each year.

The Krewe of ZULU is known for their unique history as well as their parade throws of coconuts which are referred to as “golden nugget.” They represent the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

Krewe of Endymion is one of the “Super Krewes” of the Carnival. It was in 1974 that they included more celebrity guests and floats. The Mardi Gras Indians are considered the “Black Mardi Gras.” Their costumes are festooned with feathers and beads which are designed by hand throughout the year.

The Krewe of Rex is where many of the traditions that Mardi Gras is known for originated. Rex introduced doubloon coins which are collectibles in 1960, and they were the first to cement the Mardi Gras colors of gold, green and purple in the latter part of 19th century.

The Colors of the Mardi Gras

As mentioned, Krewe of Rex are the ones that selected the official colors of the Mardi Gras in 1872. It was in 1892 that the theme of the Rex Parade was Symbolism of Colors where the colors got their meanings. Gold represents power; the color green represents faith and the color purple stands for justice.

An interesting note is that the colors of the Mardi Gras have influenced the choice of colors for the rival schools Tulane University and Louisiana State University.

Throwing Trinkets to the Mardi Gras Crowds

In the early part of the 1870s, the Twelfth Night Revelers began throwing trinkets to the Mardi Gras crowds. Today it is an expectation that is time honored for those of all ages. More than a century ago, the Krewe of Rex began throwing medallions instead of the usual trinkets.

One side of the doubloon represents the emblem of the Krewe and on the other is the theme of the parade. Other popular items to throw might include stuffed animals, pearl beads and New Orleans dinnerware which are actually cups.

When to Expect the Mardi Gras Celebration

Twelfth Night which falls on January 6th is when the celebration for Carnival begins. Celebrations continue to pick up speed until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday at Midnight.

The day can fall on any given Tuesday between the dates of the 3rd of February through the 9th of March. If you want to experience this exciting event, make your plans to vacation in New Orleans during that time.

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