Frequently Asked Questions
exactly is Mardi
Gras is a big celebration in the City of New Orleans that has the
entire city and surrounding areas enjoying parades and free
The Actual day of Mardi Gras always falls on a Tuesday and is cause
for celebration as it is the last day before the season of Lent. (it
is also the last day to officially eat meat products, but we don't pay
that any mind cause its a good excuse to enjoy crawfish, crabs and
anything else we can snatch out of the water).
Term, "Mardi Gras" is French for Fat Tuesday. It is
pronounced, "MAW-DEE GRAW" so forget about how you
have heard it said else where. and by no means is Gras pronounced,
When is it held?
|It is always held on the Tuesday
before Ash Wednesday, but many parades (or Krewes) show there stuff for
How long does it
Magical and fun filled days!!
First off let me end a myth, Mardi
in New Orleans is not filled with public displays of nudity, drunken college kids, or street
brawls. Though those activities do take place they are the minority
and are not indicative of the City of New Orleans nor many of those at
attendance. Most revelers spend Carnival Season with their family and
friends; some at the same spot for each parade year after year. Mardi Gras has had very few
compromising incidences and those that travel to the city should understand
that it is very safe along the parade routes
and is a great vacation for any family.
For 12 days in New Orleans, the city,
as well as in other neighboring parishes (Louisiana's name for a county)
parades rolling through the streets. These parades call themselves "Krewes," and
most of them name themselves after Greek and Roman Mythological characters.
Some notable examples
are: Bacchus (Roman god of wine), Zeus (Greek god), and Neptune (a Roman god
of the Sea). Recently, with the advent of new krewes to take the place of
ones leaving, the names have diversified to other avenues.
The Krewes have several floats
with marching bands, dance groups, and/or any other form of marching groups in between each
float to give revelers a chance to take a breather before the next wave of
throws reach them.
As tradition dictates, each Krewe picks a theme for that parade season
and each float would represent different aspects of the theme chosen
Another traditional feature that ads mystery and sparkle to each Krewe is
that fact that each Krewe member, or rider, is masked and in costumes based on
the individual floats theme.
can vary from 150 members to the 1,900 members of the super Krewe of
When one goes to a parade, it has been
tradition to yell to the masked riders...
"throw me someth'in mister."
If you are
lucky, they will see you and throw you a variety of throws:
-- beads (made
of plastic with various array of colors)
--doubloons (they are the size of half-dollars,
but weight less than a dime),
--cups (a definite fan favorite)
--various undergarments with the Krewe emblem (made in Hong Kong,
-- spears (the toy kind, silly)
and a host of other things.
One of the more interesting and desirable "throws" is the coconut
from the Krewe of Zulu
(an all black parade that runs on Mardi Gras Day).
They actually hand out
the coconuts to a lucky few!
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