Mardi Gras 2018 — February 13

Day before Ash Wednesday

It’s Mardi Gras time, arguably one the best celebrations in the world. It stretches from Twelfth Night (the last night of Christmas) all the way until Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” to reflect the practice of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. It’s also a time to bring out those colorful beads and masks and party! This celebration goes on in many parts of the world in various forms. So get out there and join the Mardi Gras celebrations on February 13, and party with the world!

Mardi Gras - History

2013
The Super Gras

New Orleans hosts Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl at the same time.

1762-1800
Spain cancels Mardi Gras

There were no celebrations during the Spanish possession of Louisiana.

1827
The colorful costumes begin

Students danced through the streets of New Orleans imitating the revelry they'd experienced in Paris.

March 3, 1699
Mardi Gras comes to the US

French explorers land in what will become Louisiana. They celebrate and name the spot, "Point du Mardi Gras."

3,000 BC
The Beginnings of Carnival

Carnival (the same thing as Mardi Gras) dates back thousands of years to pagan festivals of Spring and fertility.

Mardi Gras Activities

1. Go to New Orleans
Arguably one of the best and most famous Mardi Gras celebrations happens in New Orleans. Anyone will tell you Nola does it right. Enjoy the dancing, the explosion of colors, the food, and the fantastic music!

2. Join a Mardi Gras dance group
Have you seen those incredible dancers in the Mardi Gras parades? Would you like to learn how to do that? Well, you can! Dance groups are springing up all over the country. Amaze your friends with your awesome moves, and maybe end up in a local parade.

3. Host your own Mardi Gras Party
You know how to throw a party. But this time, you get to add riots of color. The more outrageous, the more ostentatious, the better your party will be. You really can't go wrong. Tell everyone to bring their craziest costume ever. They'll love the chance to set their imaginations free.

Why We Love Mardi Gras

A. The Mardi Gras Dancers are awesome
It's one of the first things that come to mind at Mardi Gras. The dancers are so graceful and their costumes are amazing. They're incredibly flexible and their rhythmic moves would send most of us straight to the chiropractor. They're what makes this one of the world's greatest parties.

B. It encourages us to be silly
Mardi Gras is when we let our hair down. You can do any goofy thing and everyone will cheer you on. Put on your most outrageous costume and boogie. Wear a tutu, don a headdress, or maybe just put on a lampshade and dance on a table. It's all good. That's the spirit of Mardi Gras!

C. The people-watching is unbeatable
Even if you're not one of those awesome dancers or marchers in the parades, it's still all about having fun. This is the best day to share laughs and artistic expression. People save their creative juices preparing for this event and it shows. Enjoy the costumes and imagination of the revelers. Soak in the sights that only come about once a year. Walk through the streets with thousands of friends you've never met before.

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