Everyone love colorful carnivals! In many places around the world, Carnivals come as a form of tradition and celebration. In this article, we will discuss about one of the most famous carnivals in the world, which is Mardi Gras. We believe that you’ve heard about Mardi Gras, right? It’s something that many people just can’t wait to celebrate every year. People hold Mardi Gras Carnaval in various parts of the world every year, including in the US. Mardi Gras is being celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, and this festive symbolizes gratitude. There are lots of Mardi Gras facts that will amaze you. One of the most unique things about Mardi Gras is that all the participants wear unique and colorful costumes.
Are you someone who loves carnivals or festivals? Or are you a cheerful person who loves celebration and curious about the excitement of Mardi Gras? If so, then the following 15 Mardi Gras facts will definitely blow your mind. So, get ready to find out the coolest Mardi Gras facts that you have never imagined before!
1. Get Ready to Be Fat!
The name Mardi Gras came from the French language, which includes “Mardi” that means Tuesday, and “Gras” that means fat. Yes, fat. You’ve heard it right. This festival is always full of delicious food. At the Mardi Gars celebration, you will see many fat-rich delicacies like meat, lard, eggs, milk, and cheese in fantastic quantities. In other words, you have to be ready to be fat! Sharing fat-rich delicacies has become a tradition of this very festive and fun carnival. So, are you ready to be fat? Do you like high-fat foods? If so, then Mardi Gras is definitely a heaven for you!
2. Festive Three-Color Combination!
Bright and fun colors will always be the perfect symbol of festivals and celebrations. Mardi Gras carries purple, green, and gold colors as its authentic identity. These colors were not chosen arbitrarily to represent this carnival. However, do you know the meaning of these colors? It turns out that there is a long history behind the three colors.
Back in the 18th century, when the Rex parade was held. This celebration came as form of respect for the visit of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia. The festival carries the theme “Symbolism of Colors”. Because people celebrate Mardi Gras before a religious holiday, and that is why people choose green, as a symbol of faith. Purple means justice for every citizen to get a decent life and receive pleasure, while gold represents strength and prosperity as gratitude to God.
3. Masks are Mandatory
Moving on to the next Mardi Gras fact, various festivals around the world have their own characteristics, and same goes for Mardi Gras. If you visit New Orleans, United States, during the Mardi Gras celebration, you will find the fact that Mardi Gras Float Riders always wear masks throughout the celebration. Do you know why? It’s because the rules for wearing masks at the Mardi Gras carnival were aimed to remove social barriers.
At this festive celebration, you can invite acquaintances, hang out with them, and play with whoever you want. There are no restrictions on social, age, race, and origins. You can celebrate this fun festival together in a fun way!
4. The World’s Largest Mardi Gras Float Ever
Carnaval float is a characteristic and identity that stick to Mardi Gras. Everyone is competing to create the best and prettiest float. “Pontchartrain Beach” is the name for a Mardi Gras float and many claim it to be the largest ever in world history. Krewe of Endymion spent a fantastic amount of money building this carnival float. At approximately 330 feet tall, “Pontchartrain Beach” can accommodate up to 230 Mardi Gras Float Riders. This record was set in 2013 and cost around $1.2 million!
5. You Can Eat King Cakes
When you celebrate Mardi Gras then don’t miss to taste King Cakes. Is this real? Yes, you are not dreaming. You can eat these delicious King Cakes during the celebrations. King Cakes comes from a biblical story that tells of 3 kings who brought special gifts for Baby Jesus.
King Cakes is a coffee cake with cinnamon rolls and sprinkles in purple, green, and yellow colors like the colors of the Mardi Gras symbol. Inside this cake are a very delicious fruit and cream cheese filling. You will only find King Cakes in New Orleans during Mardi Gras celebrations, which are between January and February every year.
6. Do You Want the Biggest Mardi Gras? Come to Rio de Janeiro
Are you curious which city has the biggest and liveliest Mardi Gras celebration in the world? If you answer is New Orleans, then you are wrong! New Orleans may be the most famous city for Mardi Gras celebrations, but Rio de Janeiro is the biggest. Cool Mardi Gras fact, right? This exotic city in Brazil celebrates Mardi Gras with a huge capacity.
In Rio de Janeiro, people know Mardi Gras as the “Rio Carnaval”. More than 2 million people took to the streets to celebrate the carnival and parade. You will find a variety of live musicians and dancers lining the streets. Don’t forget to witness the excitement and luxury of the parade at a special venue called the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí. In addition, you’ll see a variety of costumes, and also unique and festive Mardi Gras floats!
7. It’s Not Always Purple, Green, And Gold. It’s Also Orange!
Purple, green, and gold colors are the basic identity of Mardi Gras. However, did you know that this festival can also bring other colors? In Ivrea, an area near Turin, Italy, the celebration of Mardi Gras is synonymous with the color orange. They celebrate Mardi Gras with an orange fight. Have you heard of it?
The history of the orange Mardi Gras is taken from the story of a local ruler who took advantage of a peasant girl. Then the ruler’s head was beheaded by the resisting villagers. An Orange then symbolized the head of the ruler. The orange battle at this festival is a symbol of resistance from the common people against the rulers who act arbitrarily. You can take part in this orange battle, and you will toss with oranges, and this orange war is so much fun! You also need to wear a red hat at this celebration as a sign of amnesty.
8. The King and Queen of Carnival
This one is probably a sweet Mardi Gras fact that you would like to know. Like a kingdom, Mardi Gras has a king and queen to preside over the festival. James Reiss III is crowned King of Carnival. The combat veteran comes from Rex krewes who is one of the initiators of Mardi Gras. He was crowned king in conjunction with Rex’s 150th anniversary as a milestone. Reiss is a native New Orleanian who has been celebrating Mardi Gras for decades. He has extensive knowledge and experience regarding the festival. Then who is the Festival Queen? A native of Metairie, Elinor Pitot White has been crowned the Queen of Carnival. She is a dedicated volunteer at Bright School for the Deaf. Her high social spirit makes her worthy of the title.
9. Mardi Gras Beads Grow on Trees
Colorful beads grow on trees during Mardi Gras celebrations. Not just tens or hundreds, but tons of beads will hang from tree branches during Mardi Gras. everyone will create unique beads creations and hung them from trees to enliven the Mardi Gras celebration. The splendor of Mardi Gras is celebrated along the way. Without a doubt, you will never see a tree with no colorful beads during Mardi Gras. Do you have any bead creations to put on the tree? Wait for the next Mardi Gras celebration!
10. Mardi Gras Throw
The tradition of throwing is an inseparable part of the parade, which is a unique Mardi Gras fact. Then what is it that people are throwing? The crew members who are on the Mardi Gras float will throw various decorative items to the parade spectators who are around the track. They will throw beads, trinkets, doubloons, decorative cups, toys, and other fun items. This tradition began in the 1870s, where at first, the medals were thrown as a sign of victory and joy.
11. Enroll in the Unique and Interesting Photo Contest!
To further enliven the Mardi Gras festival, the event organizers usually launch a photo contest every year. The best poses and moments resulted from this unique photo contest. This contest selects the most unique and unconventional photos. Every year there are 2 photos that won the contest and 3 photos as honorable mentions. Prepare your best festival costumes and take photos to win the contest!
12. It has Official Songs
Who would have thought that a festival had an official song? Yes, that’s right. It’s a fun Mardi Gras fact that the parade has an official song, which is titled “Go to the Mardi Gras” or “Mardi Gras in New Orleans”. The genre of this song is R&B and the singer is Professor Longhair. This song was recorded in 1949. This song carries fun and lively lyrics. Since Mardi Gras is an annual event, we will hear this song playing every year during the festival.
13. Mardi Gras Indians Are Secretive
Unlike Mardi Gras celebrations in various regions, Mardi Gras Indians are very private. Why? because only certain people can participate in the disguise. They didn’t announce the date, time, and route of the Mardi Gras Indians festival, even though they gather in the same area every year. The African-American community in downtown New Orleans is the organizer of this closed-door Mardi Gras festival.
14. Canceled Mardi Gras Events
There are many historical events that caused Mardi Gras to be canceled. In 1918 when entering World War I, Spanish Flu hit the city of New Orleans. Terrible epidemics and war caused this festival not to be held. Many people died at that time. Furthermore, during World War II to be precise in 1942-1945, Mardi Gras was also not held. And recently, people need to cancel Mardi Gras due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s actually quite sad because we cannot see the smiles and festive cheer of the festival since we cannot conduct no such events until now.
15. Dance Troupes Mardi Gras
The parade is synonymous with dance groups. Therefore, we can see why Mardi Gras involves various unique dance groups. One of them is the Amazon group, which wears armor complete with unique swords and shields. Bayou Babes is also one of the unique dance groups. Unique clothes with wings are the hallmark of this women’s dance group. Bearded Oysters is a female parade group whose members each wear a fake beard. There are many more unique dance groups at Mardi Gras.