Mardi Gras is the last day of the season of fasting before Easter. It means “fat Tuesday” in French and is widely celebrated in New Orleans and other cities with significant Catholic populations. These celebrations generally involve parades, masked balls, and eating lots and lots of rich foods. That won’t stop us from enjoying it though! If you ever find yourself in one of these cities during Mardi Gras, there are many ways to explore this fun celebration without breaking your fast. Keep reading to learn more about Mardi Gras and how you can enjoy it in one of those cities at this time of year.
What is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a celebration that takes place before Easter. It is not a religious holiday, but rather a secular celebration. It is celebrated in many different ways around the world. Its most famous iteration is the celebration in New Orleans. The celebration here is known as “the greatest free show on earth.” Each year, the celebration begins on the Twelfth Night and runs for 17 days.
Things to do for Mardi Gras in New Orleans
New Orleans is world-famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations. There are many things to do for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, so let’s start from the beginning. If you are planning a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you should mark the dates on your calendar. Mardi Gras is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day after the end of the 40-day Lenten season. If you are not sure what to expect, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the festivities without taking part in the religious themes. The most famous event during Mardi Gras is the New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade. There are multiple parades throughout the city, but the most famous is the “End of Season” parade. It is the last parade of the season and it is often the biggest. Other events include the Super Krewe Ball, which is a masked ball with a variety of performances, and the Royal Street Parade, which is a smaller parade that takes place in the French Quarter.
Mardi Gras in Louisiana
Mardi Gras in Louisiana is not as well-known as the celebrations in New Orleans, but it is still a great time to visit. New Orleans used to be part of the French territory of Louisiana, so the celebrations here are very similar to the ones in New Orleans. The biggest difference between the two celebrations is the dates. The Mardi Gras in Louisiana takes place a few weeks earlier than the one in New Orleans. The dates are determined by the lunar calendar, so they change each year. If you are visiting during Mardi Gras in Louisiana, you can enjoy the same festivities as you would in New Orleans. There are plenty of parades, masked balls, and king cake parties. If you are not Catholic and don’t want to take part in the religious themes, you can still enjoy all the rich foods and fun parading.
Mardi Gras in New York City
New York City has a small Mardi Gras celebration that is more of a cultural event than the New Orleans celebrations. It is mostly observed by the city’s Caribbean populations. The celebration has grown over the past couple of decades, but it is still very small compared to the celebrations in New Orleans. Unlike the celebrations in New Orleans, the Mardi Gras in New York City is not a season-long event. It is only celebrated on the weekend closest to Fat Tuesday. The celebrations include parades, king cake parties, and other typical Mardi Gras activities. The celebrations also have a strong cultural element, celebrating Caribbean culture and traditions.
Mardi Gras in California
If you are in California during the Mardi Gras season, you can still enjoy some of the festivities. Although California is not known for its Mardi Gras celebrations, there are a few cities that do celebrate. Most notably, Los Angeles hosts the Hollywood Mardi Gras. The celebrations are not as large as the ones in New Orleans, but they are still very enjoyable. If you are visiting California during Mardi Gras, you can enjoy a few parades and king cake parties. You can also attend a masquerade ball if you are interested in a more traditional experience.
If you want to experience the Mardi Gras season, you do not have to be Catholic or live in New Orleans, Louisiana, New York City, or Florida. You can enjoy the festivities no matter where you are. If you are in one of the other cities during this time, you can still enjoy the parades and themed parties. If you are not interested in celebrating the season, you can still enjoy the parades as a spectator. They are a fun way to experience the culture of the city and see some interesting costumes.