It may surprise you to know that Mardi Gras did not originate from New Orleans, but rather the French brought the holiday over to the United States. We can thank the French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville for calling New Orleans, “Pointe du Mardi Gras”, when his men realized that they arrived in the land on the eve of the holiday.
The King Cake is a tradition that stems from the Epiphany on January 6th. The cake commemorates the three wise men meeting the infant baby Jesus. The King Cake contains a small plastic baby inside of it, which people have to find. The person who finds the baby is the “King” and has to make the cake for the next King Cake party.
You can join in on the celebration of Mardi Gras by going to a parade in your own city, attending a King Cake party, or just eating a lot of food on Fat Tuesday. Anyway you decide to celebrate, remember to be safe and have fun!
Here are some quick, fun facts to know about the holiday:
*Beads aren’t the only things thrown from a float, cups, doubloons, and stuffed animals are also thrown.
*By law, float riders must always have a mask on.
*The Mardi Gras celebration generates close to $1 billion dollars a year.
*The colors of Mardi Gras signify different things. Purple represents justice. Gold represents power. Green represents faith.
To learn more, check out these great resources!
Mardi Gras New Orleans Website
Sioux City Mardi Gras Website
Ross, Philip. "Mardi Gras History and Facts: The Real Meaning Behind These 5 'Fat Tuesday' Traditions." International Business Times: Media & Culture. International Business Times, 2 March 2014. Web.
Mitchell, Reid. All On A Mardi Gras Day : Episodes In The History Of New Orleans Carnival. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1995. eBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 8 Feb. 2016.
Mossman, Kate. "The Secret History Of Mardi Gras." New Statesman 144.5268 (2015): 14. Corporate ResourceNet. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.