Multi Faceted Mardi Gras

North America | | August 6, 2009 at 6:05 pm



The New Orleans city in the face of calamity perseveres in moving ahead with restoring several years of history and carrying on the three centuries old tradition of Mardi Gras as it is called in French or Fat Tuesday in English.

The significantly popular tradition goes back to 1699 when the voyagers held the festivities of this French holiday on the Mississippi River banks, with the New Orleans locals every year adding several new features to the celebration like wide scale parades and balls backed by associations that attract hoards of crowds from across the globe who come here to sample the prolific entertainment the locals have to offer.

mardi gras

Between the years 1835-1837, New Orleans got to experience the premier float and from 1856 onwards, the festivities included a splendorous sight of a fleet of floats sashaying down the main through road, concluding with a ball that hosted three thousand visitors. Mardi Gras is generally celebrated forty-seven days prior to Easter Sunday with the real season commencing on 6th January and goes on through to the day prior to Ash Wednesday.

The event is flagged off with the Zulu Parade wherein the king and queen of the association arrive on a river boat on the Mississippi river that formally gets the Lundi Gras waterside out-of-doors festivities in full swing.


The ten day long revelries offer more than sixty elaborate parades with floats and marching bands each backed by private clubs. The parade commences at Napolean Avenue, passing through St.Charles and halting at Canal Street. Continuing festivities ensue with the traditional throwing of beads, Cajun and Creole delicacies on the offing whose alluring whiffs waft through the air.

Getting ready for a day of ceremonial aggression, the Mardi Gras Indians who claim devout connection with the Native Indians that offered refuge to the escapee slaves have many such clans trail and meet each other head-on during the Mardi Gras Day with exhibits of dance, chants and donning masks or parading in costumes.


Most of the New Orleans black middle class community make a strong attendance at the Zulu ball where the annual crops of debut makers make flamboyant entries.

The Fat Tuesday night bears witness to throngs of revellers who congregate for the ultimate hoopla with sights of exotic maskers, drag queens, strident college goers, outsiders crammed up like earthworms in a bait tub.

mardi gras

Within the Convention Centre, last stop for the streaming parade, revellers follow the floats pleading for beads and several favours flung in abundance. Earthly fun and frolic fills the French neighbourhood where raucous strangers wind up on the Bourbon Street coming together where they squeeze out the final drop of abandon from their drunken venture when on the strike of midnight the police sirens announce the end of the carnival.

The final day of the Carnival concludes a period of revelry with celebrations as varied as the city’s populace.

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1 Comment

  1. paul richard says:

    Very interesting and entertaining place
    thanks for sharing

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