Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Laissez les bon temps roulet
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana is one of the most famous Carnival celebrations in the world.
As is the case with many Carnivals, the New Orleans Carnival season has its roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent. In New Orleans the season consists of parades, balls and king cake parties. The festivities are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French), the day before Ash Wednesday. There is usually a major parade each day with many days having several large parades.
Carnival parades in New Orleans are prepared by Carnival krewes. The organizers on the krewe floats toss strings of plastic colorful beads, coins, decorated plastic cups, and small toys and trinkets. The krewes follow the same parade schedule and route every year.
The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple to represent justice, gold to represent power and green to represent faith. The colors date back to 1872 and were selected by the Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia while visiting New Orleans. In 1892, the Rex Parade theme “Symbolism of Colors” assigned the colors their meanings.