Louisiana is built differently when it comes to seasons, and we find ways to celebrate them all. We have winter, summer, Christmas, and Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras brings in a record amount of visitors yearly and sometimes, visitors (and even locals) need help navigating the celebration! We decided to take some time to answer the real questions.
What is Mardi Gras?
The celebration of Mardi Gras is a months-long street party that brings beautiful costumes, art and music. New Orleans Mardi Gras was originally made for the wealthier crowd whereas rural Mardi Gras was for the poorer citizens. These days, people come from all kinds of economic backgrounds to enjoy the experience.
What is the history behind rural Mardi Gras?
This Cajun tradition came about from the medieval “feast of begging” that happened in France, where poorer citizens could go door to door begging for food.
What is the cultural significance of rural Mardi Gras?
Like many other Louisiana traditions, this one is based on community, where the poorer citizens came together to forge food and in true Cajun fashion were able to make a party out of it.
So, how wild does rural mardi gras get?
In this city? As wild as the swamps of Louisiana. Picture the towns around Lafitte having various celebrations that revolve around chasing chickens in elaborate costumes. The madness is what the people call Courir de Mardi Gras and its traditions date back to medieval times.
What should I wear to Courir de Mardi Gras?
The event comes with a dress code. Down in these parts the attire might vary but one constant is that you have to wear a mask. The costumes were initially made to mock authority figures and society in France. The costumes were a collage of old work clothes and patches of fabric and fringe. Today these outfits are often made with scrubs, scrap fabric, scissors, and a hot glue gun.
What’s it like to go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans?
Depending on what you’re looking for, there’s a theme for every voyager, each parade has a different feel. Take a gander at the Mardi Gras parade schedule to see what you’re feeling.
How do they celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans?
Beads, floats, music, costumes, and more beads. Majestic parades captain the whole experience and all else is what adventure you choose. The food will keep your belly happy, the music will make you upbeat and depending on which parade you choose you could be up all night! So choose wisely!
When is the best time to go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans?
If it were up to us the entire season! Mardi Gras season starts on the Twelfth Night, which falls on January 5th, and carries on until Mardi Gras day! We love our visitors, but we know most people have busy schedules, so checking out the parade schedule is doubly encouraged here to make the best decision for you and your family.
Is Mardi Gras worth going to if you haven’t been before?
The real question is, are you interested in having the time of your life?! Then yes it’s well worth it. Take a saunter down to Jackson Square and watch all the talented street performers!
Just how wild can New Orleans Mardi Gras truly get?
We all know the cock and bull story that’s given New Orleans Mardi gras its infamy, however, this festival consists mostly of family-friendly day parades, which is the perfect activity for the children.
When will Mardi Gras happen in 2023?
The date never stays the same, much like New Orleans weather in the wintertime. Mardi Gras day for the year 2023 will happen on February 21st.
How does Mardi Gras compare to Brazilian Carnival?
Both Mardi Gras and Brazil’s carnival start before lent and have elaborate costumes and parades.
Can anyone go to Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans?
Yes! All members of the family are welcome!
What is the best Mardi Gras parade?
There is a large variety of unique parades to watch during Mardi gras season, here are 3 of the most popular
Krewe Of Rex
The theme is the king of the carnival and is named after the Rex School of Design. The parade holds the original Mardi Gras colors and has held more parades than any other organization.
A Greek mythological-themed parade, based off of an immortal given eternal youth by Zeus
Krewe of Bacchus
Themed after the Greek god of wine, this was the first parade to have celebrities in it
What are important laws to know before Mardi Gras?
Although Mardi Gras doesn’t prohibit you from having an open container on the street here are some laws that they do want you to abide by
- No metal or glass containers allowed! Your best is a plastic cup, and most places will serve your drink in one anyway.
- No silly string or throwing objects into parade routes
- Animals are not allowed within 150 feet of the parade route (with the exception of Barkus)
What is the best hotel to stay at?
It depends on what you’re looking for. There are many options available, you’ll find something that suits your taste and budget. You can take a look at our hotel guide.
What are some of the best places to watch Mardi Gras parades?
Each parade has its own route, but balconies and grandstands are prime positions for parade views!
So Let the Good Times Roll and while you’re here, consider an airboat or pontoon swamp tour during your off time!
And of course, feel free to reach out with your Mardi Gras questions and we will answer them for you.