|Mardi Gras throws (beads)|
The HistoryMardi Gras is by far New Orleans' oldest celebrated holiday. Brother's Iberville and Bienville set up their first encampment on the Louisiana Gulf Coast on Mardi Gras day 1699. They named the spot Point du Mardi Gras. It was initially believed to be a pagan holiday until Christians incorporated it into their Easter holiday by doing a fast for 40 days up until Easter. The days leading up to Easter were known as the Carnival, meaning, (Farewell to Flesh). This is why Mardi Gras is also called Carnival. The day prior to Ash Wednesday, which starts the 40 day fast is the day to have fun and to be a glutton. Hence, giving the day the nick name Fat Tuesday. The season traditionally begins on the Catholic King’s Day, January 6th, or the Feast of the Epiphany. This was the day, twelve days after Christmas, when the kings visited the manger of Jesus. On this day, bakeries across the city begin selling King Cakes, brightly colored sugary cakes that have a small plastic baby baked inside to represent the baby Jesus. Cakes are eaten at work, school, or at King Cake parties. Tradition has it that whoever gets the baby in their piece of cake has to buy the next cake, typically for next week’s party.
|Mardi Gras eats (King Cake)|
(For more on the history go here ---> http://www.gmc.edu/library/neworleans/NOmardi.htm
Mardi Gras Day
|Zulu coconut a throw from the Zulu Krewe|
|A Mardi Gras Float|
|A packed Bourbon St.|
Bourbon St. has nothing on Orleans and Claiborne Streets though. (Under the Bridge) Which was once only the African American spot to hang out for Mardi Gras has quickly grown to be a big mixed environment (Post Hurricane Katrina). The masked Mardi Gras Indians come out under the bridge. The story behind the Indians come from the History Books. Native Americans taught the African American slaves who had escaped from slavery and hidden out in the marshes how to survive out in the marshes. To pay homage to them, African Americans mask out as Indians in colored, highly beaded or sequined feathered outfits. They dance and chant along the streets.
|Masked Mardi Gras Indians|
Also check out some good Mardi Gras Music here ----> http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL73B9E0D0083CB315