What is Mardi Gras?

If you’re a tourist wondering what the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana, are all about, you’ve come to the right place. After reading through this post, you'll understand what Mardi Gras is and why it's held every year.

The Basics

Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French; it’s the day preceding Ash Wednesday. If you’re a practicing Christian, you know that Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season which ends at the start of Easter holidays.

During Lent, Christians are supposed to fast and make personal sacrifices, including, for many, avoid diets with lots of fats and meats. “Fat Tuesday” got its name because it’s the final day of indulging in richer diets before the Lenten season kicks in.

Where is Mardi Gras Celebrated in the US?

In the U.S., Mardi Gras celebrations are iconically associated the city of New Orleans. The colorful celebrations and parades start in January and end before the start of Ash Wednesday.

Across New Orleans, streets are filled with buzz and activity during this time. The parades are very colorful with most participants wearing attractive costumes and masks. Throwing beads and other accessories is a common feature of the event.

History of Mardi Gras in America

Mardi Gras celebrations are primarily held in the Gulf South, from Texas to Florida. The celebrations were introduced to America by French explorers who landed in Louisiana in late 1690.

The celebration of “Fat Tuesday" has become a strong tradition of the people of New Orleans since its introduction. It is organized by social groups known as Krewes - nonprofit groups that either self-fund or raise funds through sponsorship.

If you want to celebrate and participate in carnival celebrations, there’s no better event than Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Come join us for our Mardi Gras party on our Bourbon Street balcony for the biggest party of the year! Purchase tickets here (link to ticket purchase page).