By Emma Gaudette
Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and if you’re like most citizens of New Orleans you’ll want to start the Lenten season with a party. Before I get into some fun Mardi Gras party ideas, I want to give a little background info on this outrageously fun celebration.
Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years, however many historians believe that the first American celebration took place on March 3, 1699. The holiday began when French explorers landed in Louisiana and named the land Point du Mardi Gras. Soon after, people began celebrating that date with parties and masquerade balls. Years later the first Mardi Gras parade was held, and the colorful costumes began. Globally, Mardi Gras is celebrated in many countries that have a significant Roman Catholic population.
Here are some Mardi Gras fun facts:
- Mardi Gras is ALWAYS the Tuesday before Lent .
- More than 500,000 King cakes are sold in New Orleans each year.
- Official Mardi Gras colors are purple, gold and green.
- Mardi Gras is also referred to as Pancake Day.
- Law requires all float riders to wear masks.
- Mardi Gras is a state holiday in some places.
And here are some fun party ideas you’ll love:
- Decorate an old box and put Mardi Gras beads inside for your guests to take and enjoy!
- Have masks out and available for fun photo ops!
- Make a New Orleans inspired drink! I suggest Swamp Water or, if you’re underage, a virgin Voodoo Punch.
- Have a King Cake for guests to snack on! Kroger sells them.
- Last but not least, make everything purple, gold and green! Deck everything from napkins to balloons with the official Mardi Gras colors.
St. Louis is also known for their outrageous Mardi Gras celebrations. Emily Spanos is from St. Louis and will go home this year to celebrate with family and friends. “My mom always makes King cake. It’s a huge deal where I’m from. Its the second biggest celebration next to New Orleans! I think this year I’ll try making Swamp Water!” Spanos said.
A box of bead necklaces, officially colored balloons, and King Cake. Images from Pinterest.
Edited by Brennen Kauffman