Mardi Gras, the carnival of New Orleans

That was it! February is gone so the Carnival season too. However, we didn’t want to leave this colorful and dreamy world without writing about New Orleans Carnival (a.k.a Mardi Gras).

Mardi Gras, which means “Fat Tuesday” is the name of the carnival held in New Orleans (USA) the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is the parade itself that takes place the last day of Carnival, though it is often associated with the entire season. The so-called “fat Tuesday” refers to the way people used to live the last day of Carnival enjoy the carnal pleasures and cooking before Holy Week and Lent.

The celebration of Mardi Gras is among the largest and most famous in the world. This Carnival, with a Catholic origins, begins on the 6th of January, the night of Epiphany. Since that day, you start seeing fancy dresses, masks and colorful necklaces everywhere.

Two weeks before Mardi Gras, tourists and locals can enjoy a daily parade. Parades and celebrations become more colorful and buzzing when the last five days of the season arrive. Although many tourists visit Bourbon Street and other sections of the French Quarter during Mardi Gras, the largest parades can’t be seen there because the streets are too narrow for carriages.

During carnival, more than eighty cities and towns of the State of Louisiana celebrate the carnival season with a variety of dances and parties, from the folk cajun tradition to the stylish and elegant urban dances in cities such as Lafayette and New Orleans. Only in New Orleans downtown, more than one hundred dances and parades take place. The streets are covered with purple, green and gold combined with dance and music.

The population of New Orleans is doubled thanks to the aforementioned tourists visiting the Carnival for the weekend. On Friday night, they would see the impressive two of the most famous parades: Krewe of Hermes and satirical Krewe D’Etat parade. On Saturday there are several parades day and night following the largest parade, the Krewe of Endymion. And finally, on Sunday is when the most important parade will be on the streets: the Krewe of Bacchus which typically include film stars, singers and other famous people.

Have you ever been to the Mardi Gras?

Photo credits:  philippe leroyer 

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