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After Christmas and New Year’s celebrations come to an end, Mardi Gras is a world-famous festival that everyone looks forward to with great anticipation when the calendar turns over at the beginning of the year. Mardi Gras lets you beat the winter blues and gives you a good reason to cheer up and get into the mood for festivities. It is a colorful and a rambunctious holiday, the origins of which pre-date Christianity. This much-celebrated festival involves lots of music and pomp while participants indulge in their favorite fatty food and drinks before Lent, the period of fasting.
Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" in French, which originated as a Christian holiday with roots in ancient Rome.
Mardi Gras is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent, the fasting period before Easter.
Mardi Gras marks the last day of the Carnival season which is celebrated all over the world with numerous parties and feasting.
People in Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada celebrate Mardi Gras by eating pancakes and participating in pancake-themed activities.
The official colors of Mardi Gras are Purple, Gold, and Green. Purple stands for justice, gold symbolizes power and green signifies faith.
It is illegal to ride on a float without wearing a mask during Mardi Gras. The purpose of the mask is to enable people to mingle with whomever they want and get rid of social constraints.
The official greeting of Mardi Gras is "Laissez les bon temps rouler" which means “let the good times roll” in Cajun French.
Each Mardi Gras parade is hosted and organized by a different group, or “Krewe”, most of which derive their names from Roman or Greek mythology.
Another Mardi Gras tradition involves “throws” wherein float riders toss away keepsakes, including colorful beaded necklaces.
Mardi Gras royalty changes every year. The first King of Mardi Gras was Russian Grand Duke Romanoff, who was visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras festivities.
This holiday marks the beginning of a new season with all its effervescence and high spirits. The Mardi Gras celebrations are something that many New Orleans natives and visitors look forward to with excitement each year. If you still haven’t experienced Mardi Gras, book your flight to New Orleans and experience Mardi Gras in all its madness and fun!
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