Mardi Gras may have managed to garner the attention of the world with their coloured beads and endless antics of revellers, however there is far more to the holiday than meets the eye. Hence, we at Sir Holiday wanted to delve into some fun facts and traditions surrounding Mardi Gras! Therefore, without any further ado, let’s head into a world of fun and revelry that occurs every year before Ash Wednesday according to the Christian calendar.
Fat Tuesday might be the culmination of the festival, however the partying begins in New Orleans much sooner than one would anticipate. In New Orleans the actual build up to Mardi Gras occurs much sooner than the publicized festival, in fact it starts on the Three Kings Day or the Feast of the Epiphany and this is around 13 days earlier than the festival most people attend over Mardi Gras.
Parades are going to be run by numerous crews, these groups charge an annual membership fee in order for their employees to be gifted the opportunity to be able to be a part of the parade. These crews are entirely private and members can be waiting multiple years in advance, before they even get considered for participation in the parade.
Have you ever wondered why everyone wears a mask on the floats, well its more than just age old customs, it is in fact mandated by law that you may not be part of a parade and on a float during Mardi Gras. Everyone must wear a mask or at the very least have their face painted. Why was it started originally, well, the purpose behind this seemingly trivial act is to encourage people to socialize with members of other classes, groups and interests that they may not speak to in an ordinary, everyday setting.
Each and every year the parades at Mardi Gras have a unique theme, this theme can be pulled from absolutely anywhere, although literary sources seem to be a popular favourite. And if you’re wondering yes, the elaborate floats that are driven through the streets of New Orleans take around a year to create, so it may feel like the festival ends and then you immediately get on to working on next years float.
Mardi Gras parades are not a frivolous idea from the current generation or any of those within the twentieth century, no these parades have been around since 1699 in America. However the practice only transitioned to New Orleans in 1718 and ever since it has been a firm staple of this vibrant towns calendar.
The krewes that run the parades all have very strict hierarchies that influence how they may enter during the parade and their rank in the parade. At the top you have the leader, followed by the King and his Queen, after that you have all of the fair maidens and the dukes. Finally, all of the other members of the group stream onto the street and the festivities can commence. This was only a brief introduction into Mardi Gras, for all of your holiday information and more visit Sir Holiday today.