Mardi Gras is a Christian festival. The festival is a cultural heritage that has been carried out since thousands of years ago. Especially when it's spring. So, this festival becomes a spring ritual.
This festival is celebrated in almost all countries of the world, especially in countries with large populations of Roman Catholics. In some countries, this festival begins before Lent.
Some countries that often host the celebration are Brazil, New Orleans, and Venice. The festival held by the three countries is also frequently visited by various tourists who want to see the festivities.
Initially, this celebration came from a local Roman tradition named Saturnalia and Lupercalia. Well, because Christianity began to spread in Rome, the religious leaders there tried to integrate the traditions with Christianity.
That's what eventually became the Mardi Gras festival. The celebration marks the start of Lent, the 40 days of fasting, and penance that are observed between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
Because Christianity also continued to spread, Mardi Gras also spread widely from Rome to other countries in Europe. Examples are France, Spain, Germany, and England. Now, not only other countries with a majority Catholic population also celebrate the Heritage of Mardi Gras Festival.
Many countries in the world celebrate this festival, but how about celebrating the Festival Heritage of Mardi Gras from African Roots?
The first parade was celebrated in New Orleans in 1857. They decorate vehicles, organize contests, prepare dinners, and organize football matches.
In 1901, a black support group in New Orleans sponsored an African-American parade. In 1909, the festival was named Zulu. Zulu was made with a different concept from other Mardi Gras festivals.
When celebrating Zulu, every parade participant makes fun of the white king of the Mardi Gras parade. It was a form of reprisal from a parody of slavery to the black race. The black Indians who performed the festival were given the nickname Mardi Gras Indians.
African-Americans believe in their history that their ancestors were Native Americans. Then, their descendants fled from the domination and discrimination of the white race.
The Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association was the first African-American organization founded in 1938. The first parade held by the organization began in 1939.
At the celebration, they rode floats, held a coronation party called the Grand Marshals' Ball, held cultural events, and a Royal Luncheon.
In 1990, The Krewe of African Kings became the oldest Mardi Gras organization in Florida. His name is Krewe of African Kings. It was a Pensacola krewe with all black members.
Unlike the Mardi Gras Indians who use costumes during the parade to honor the religion and culture of Native Americans, the Mardi Gras of the Krewe of African Kings uses costumes to honor African royalty. The maximum number of members is only 20 people.
During this celebration, a coronation party was also held. All members of the organization elect an African king. Another organization related to this organization is the Krewe of African Queens.
Mardi Gras is one of the most festive celebrations in the world. There are beads, masks, music, king cakes, and several other events. However, there are some unique facts about the celebration. What are they?