Mardi Gras, which translates to "Fat Tuesday" in French, marks the start of the Carnival season. Mardi Gras season always begins on Twelfth Night, which is January 6. The Christian holy day of Epiphany is represented by Twelfth Night. The season, which serves as a prelude to Christian Lent, lasts until Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday, often known as Mardi Gras, falls on February 21, 2023.
Mardi Gras began in New Orleans on the day Iberville arrived in 1699. Balls have now become a seasonal ritual to symbolize the members of society. Mardi Gras is rich with customs from the past until today.
Already getting the Mardi Gras vibes? Here are some activities and events you cannot miss to experience Mardi Gras like a local!
The local marching bands are a feature of the procession for many people. Some of the greatest rhythms in town are made by high school, college, and military bands. You can dive into the fun from the sidelines too by matching with their baton, color guard, and dance team!
The Krewe du Vieux is the only procession that runs through the French Quarter or Vieux Carré. This parade is also noted as one of the first parades of the season. This adults-only event is known for its outrageous humor, and mature themes, and there will be a show for their best brass bands too. You can expect a night full of laughter together here!
The parade's "sub-krewes," which included the Krewe of Underwear, the Krewe of L.E.W.D., and the Mystic Krewe of Comatose, were all themed (a spoof on the old-line Krewe of Comus). If you enjoy Krewe du Vieux, be sure to check out the other "micro-krewes," several of which are listed on this page.
Since 1819, The North Side Skull and Bone Gang have been waking up the 6th ward on the morning of Mardi Gras day. They will be dressed in skeletons costume. It's a spine-chilling ritual not to be missed.
They are the most prized carnival throws, so it will be challenging. Remember, greed is wonderful during Mardi Gras. Don't consider giving up until you obtain what you want, but remember that it's all about enjoying the moment in the end.
Unlike most krewe balls, the Endymion Extravaganza after the procession is accessible to anybody who purchases a ticket. Put on a ball gown or tux and join in the celebration as the floats arrive at the Superdome, then dance the night away.
King cake parties are becoming a new trend, with everyone bringing a cake from a different bakery. Try three or more and join the debate over who makes the finest king cake in town. Some of our favorites may be found in our Ultimate King Cake Guide.
We also have more printable sheet you may like:
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7. Get in touch with a Mardi Gras Indian on Mardi Gras Day.
The Mardi Gras Masking Indians may be observed marching around the streets in their beautiful hand-sewn outfits on Mardi Gras day, tracing their history back to a time when Native Americans helped conceal escaping slaves.
8. Go to the Bourbon Street Awards.
On Mardi Gras morning, you must locate two items: A slice of king cake and a great spot to watch the Bourbon Street Awards (also known as "America's most renowned drag queen event"), where entrants in fabulously colored costumes compete for top awards. Local and famous drag queen hosts have been awarding group and individual prizes for spectacular feats of fashion for over 50 years.
9. Shake the King of the Mystic Krewe of Barkus' Paw
Yep, a costumed dog parade is also on the agenda. The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is one of the season's most innovative events. Come witness dogs and their owners dressed to the nines. There is some previous magnificent theme that becomes a hit such as "Jurassic Bark" or "Wizard of Paws."
Only rescue dogs are eligible to be queens, and the king must be a krewe member.
10. Visit a Micro-Krewe
Most people associate Mardi Gras with mega-krewes or historic groups like Bacchus and Rex. Some micro-krewes, on the other hand, roll—or, more appropriately, walk—during Carnival season and are just as entertaining.
The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is a micro-krewe with a Star Wars motif and members that enjoy science fiction. Titit Rex creates small floats out of shoe boxes, putting a new spin on Mardi Gras customs, and is full of both inventive spins on Mardi Gras krewes and original ideas. Two micro krewes occur in the Marigny.
The day that precedes Mardi Gras, is known as Lundi Gras. It also notice in the name of Shrove Monday. It has its own color for the parades and celebrations that you better not miss!
There is a celebration that is worth watching with the King of Rex and the King of Zulu which symbolizes the leadership of the city for the Riverwalk's Annual Lundi Gras. They were also chosen to be one officially by the mayor too. Then you can be strolling walk over to Waldenberg Park. There is another festival called the Zulu Lundi Gras Festival to get more fun for the day.
Instead, for a more avant-garde Carnival experience, come to see marchers dressed in costumes made of beans on the Marigny for the Red Beans, Dead Beans, and Feijao Parades, Finish the night with the Krewe of Proteus and the Super Krewe of Orpheus, soaking in as much Mardi Gras spirit as you can until next year.
12. Beads are thrown from a Bourbon Street balcony
Go to the French Quarter to partake in the events that have made Mardi Gras so famous across the world. Collect beads while strolling down Bourbon Street and listening to live jazz musicians, or better yet, toss beads to pedestrians from a Bourbon Street balcony. This is something you should put on your bucket list for all things iconic and exciting, not just Mardi Gras.