Mardi Gras is about music, parades, picnics, floats and excitement. It's one big holiday in New Orleans!
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, has its roots in European traditions of the 17th and 18th centuries within the House of Bourbon (a royal dynasty). Long gone are the days when Mardi Gras used to be a fest for the privileged few – today, it is an accessible jamboree that reels in old and young to the streets in great numbers. More of the same can be expected in 2018, as it celebrates its 300th birthday.
Costume-wise, anything and everything goes – so don’t shy away from sporting your most obscure attire. Bring a bag to hold all the motley such as beads and cups that will be tossed your way by the passing floats (elaborately decorated platforms).
Revelers know to wear costumes or at least dress in purple, green, and gold, and adorn themselves with long beads caught from the floats of previous parades. You'll see a lot of crazy costumes, kids with their families are everywhere, and both locals and visitors having a great time. Parade goers will sit on the ground, throw balls, play music, eat great food and watch the crowds walk by between parades. On Mardi Gras day, the majority of non-essential businesses are shut down because of the celebration.
Experienced revelers know to bring a large bag with them so they can haul away all the beads and trinkets they will catch from the parades!