Mardi Gras Magic: A Journey Through Time-Honored Traditions

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a festival of color and joy, tracing its roots from ancient rituals to today's exuberant celebrations in New Orleans.

Originating in Europe, Mardi Gras began as a pre-Lenten feast where Christians indulged in meat, cheese, and eggs before the fasting season.

In the 1800s Mardi Gras was transformed into organized parades, featuring torch-lit processions and masked revelers.

Rex, the King of Carnival, was introduced in 1872, symbolizing the spirit of Mardi Gras and leading the grand parade festivities.

Flambeaux, once essential for lighting night parades, are now a traditional spectacle, adding to the 21st-century Mardi Gras festivities.

The colors of Mardi Gras - purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith - date back to the 1872 visit of Russian Grand Duke Alexis.

Mardi Gras masks, rooted in pagan festivals, allow revelers to cross-dress and escape social norms, adding mystery to the celebration.

Beads and throws, a Mardi Gras tradition, evolved from the 1920s, with parade-goers catching necklaces and other trinkets.

Learn more about this rich celebration of life, community, and the enduring spirit of New Orleans.