10 Fun Facts about Mardi Gras
We love any reason to celebrate as much as the next gal, but it's always more fun to know about what we're celebrating. So, here are 10 fun facts about Mardi Gras:
- Mardi Gras is also known as “Pancake Day”. In Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, people celebrate Mardi Gras by eating pancakes and particpating in pancake themed activities.
- New Orleans has been celebrating Fat Tuesday with parades since 1837.
- Masks are required BY LAW for float riders. The original purpose of the mask was to get rid of social constraints for the day, allowing people to mingle with whomever they chose.
- Beads were first thrown by Santa during a parade in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until a few decades ago that they became synonymous with flashing. People also throw stuffed animals, toys and more.
- The celebration was originally a French Christian festival, first recognized by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in French.
- On Mardi Gras in 1827, a group of students donned colorful costumes and danced through the streets of New Orleans, emulating the revelry they’d observed while visiting Paris. Ten years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day.
- The official colors of Mardi Gras are Purple ( for justice), Green (for faith), and Gold (for power).
- The first American city to host a parade for Mardi Gras was Mobile, Alabama.
- Mardi Gras is always the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
- Most people think of just parades when they think of Mardi Gras, but the season’s traditions start before the floats begin to roll. The kings and queens of each krewe, or New Orleans social group, begin the season by hosting formal, invite-only balls.
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