A last hurrah before Lent
What is Mardi Gras?
- Adapted into a Christian holiday for celebrating one last time before the forty days of Lent
- Traditionally it represented the feasting on meat eggs milk and cheese left in homes before religious fasting began
- Also known as Carnival, Fat Tuesday, and Shrove Tuesday
- Celebrated in New Orleans with parades, balls, and other parties
- Many historians believe that the first Mardi Gras was celebrated March 3rd 1699
King of Carnival
The King of Carnival rides in the Krewe of Rex in 2011. The Krewe of Rex is oldest krewe, dating back to 1872. Responsible for the purple, gold, and green colors of the official Mardi Gras flag.
Mardi Gras Flag
The Krewe of Thoth
This krewe was organized in 1947 and takes its name from the Egyptian god of wisdom. Its parade route is designed to pass in front of 14 facilities that care for people with disabilities and illnesses.
King of Carnival
- Organize the parades and other festivities
- Generally named after Greco-Roman mythological figures
- Ranking structure is a parody of royalty (King, Queen, Duke, Knight, Captain)
- African American neighborhoods developed their own krewes and celebrations
- Named after imaginary Indian tribes according to the streets of their ward or gang, and to show respect for the Indians who helped African Americans escape from slavery
- A way to show off arts and craftsmanship
- Ranks: Big Chief, Flag Boy, and Spy Boy
- Currently over 50 krewes total
- The older krewes have the same route every year
- Rex one of the oldest Mardi Gras Krewes, has been around since 1872. This Krewes established the traditional Mardi Gras colors of Green, Purple and Gold
- "Throws" are tossed off of floats; these include beads, toys, and other items
- The Rex and Zulu parades are the two main Mardi Gras parades
- Krewes host balls beginning in January where the King, Queen, and other roles are presented
- Celebrations include wearing masks, costumes during parades and festivals, sports competition, dancing, musical presentations, and tribe battles between "Indain" troops that meet during the festivities
Traditional Mardi Gras "Indian"Music is significant to each Tribe when the groups are parading, when tribes meet for a symbolic fight the drum beat will dignify when the tribes can intertwine.
That song was an example of a Cajun or Creole song that would play in preparation of the Mardi Gras celebration, it is also called the Main Stay. It was considered one of the most important songs in the celebration and has been an important part of the music scene for hundreds of years.
Songs played at the various balls that gone on during Mardi Gras are largely instrumental and stay somewhat traditional. Played at the Debutante Balls that showcase the King, Queens and other important figures.
The Balfas Brothers Band
Singer "La Danse de Mardi Gras"
Traditional Mardi Gras Indian Band
The groups sing in the Traditional Dress that will cost upwards of a thousand dollars
Mardi Gras Ball
Presentation of key figures at a Madi Gras ball
The King Cake is presented at King Cakes Party, it is a traditional cake that has the small plastic baby cooked inside the cake. The baby represents Baby Jesus, who ever finds the baby will host the next King Cake Party
It is eaten during Mardi Gras as a last meal of indulgence including red meats and grains that will be cut out of the diet during Lent
Another treat commonly consumed during celebration, a traditional French dessert. Referred to as the French donut