It’s that time of the year when you can party your troubles away! New Orleans is one place that’s gearing up for Mardi Gras–the beautiful floats are ready, the costumes have been made and everyone is counting down the hours before the most vibrant celebration of the year finally arrives. Mardi Gras 2011 is tomorrow, March 8th, and if you want to forget your troubles for a day, you might want to consider a last minute flight to the Big Easy…
Read on for more on Mardi Gras!
Mardi Gras is French and means Fat Tuesday. It’s the last day of the Carnival season and is always celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday. Hundreds of floats, exquisite costumes and masks and festivities all through the night help make Mardi Gras one of the most unique celebrations on the planet.
Contrary to popular belief, baring one’s breasts is not an obligatory part of Mardi Gras. Check out these Mardi Gras facts for the real deal (via Mardi Gras New Orleans) :
-Mardi Gras generates $1 billion in annual spending for New Orleans.
-Mardi Gras and Carnival are not the same thing. Carnival refers to the period of feasting and fun which always begins on January 6th, The Feast of the Epiphany. Mardi Gras refers to Fat Tuesday, the final day of revelry before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins.
-The first Mardi Gras parade took place in New Orleans on February 24, 1857 by the Krewe of Comus. The tradition of a Mardi Gras parade with floats started then and followed it with a ball.
-Ever wonder why purple, green and gold are the colors of Mardi Gras? Well, Rex, the King of Carnival, chose the Mardi Gras colors and gave them meaning in 1892. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.
-Mardi Gras is kid-friendly! The whole family can enjoy the parade!
You can find more information on the celebration, the parade and all things Mardi Gras on New Orleans’ Official Mardi Gras site.