Mardi Gras Costumes, Mardi Gras Beads & Mardi Gras Party Ideas
"Mardi Gras" means "Fat Tuesday." Traditionally, it is the last day for Catholics to indulge and often overindulge before Ash Wednesday starts the sober weeks of fasting that comes with Lent. Formally known as Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras has long been a time of extravagant fun for European Christians. In fact, some people think Mardi Gras celebrations have their source in the wild springtime parties of the ancient Romans.
In the United States, Mardi Gras draws millions of fun-seekers to New Orleans every year. Mardi Gras has been celebrated in New Orleans on a grand scale, with masked balls and colorful parades, since French settlers arrived in the early 1700s. Hidden behind Masquerade masks, people behaved so raucously that for decades in the early 19th century Masquerade Masks were deemed illegal in that party-loving city.
French royals, feather-covered showgirls, Energizer bunnies, painted CLOWN, masked lions—you can find them all and more in the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. By dawn on that most famous Tuesday, people have claimed the best spots on the streets to watch fabulous floats, outrageous performers, and visiting celebrities go by. Many travel hundreds of miles to be a part of the excitement.
Marching bands, some of them founded more than a century ago, also take to the streets with music and costumedfestive dress. They open the day by spreading jazz music through the city before the more than 350 floats and 15,000 costumed paraders take over the scene. Crazy Costumes, fnacy Masquerade Masks, and wild Make up are the order of the day for paraders and parade-watchers alike. The most lavish get-ups can be seen at the cross dressing beauty pageants in the French Quarter, where suggestive costuming may reach new heights.
The millions of colorful beaded necklaces thrown from floats are the most visible symbols and souvenirs of Mardi Gras. In addition, millions of cups and toy coins known as "doubloons" are decorated with krewe logos and thrown to parade-watchers. Some throws are especially prized: only the luckiest folks manage to take home the hand-decorated coconuts from the Krewe of Zulu.
People do outrageous things to catch the most throws. Some dress as priests, hoping the many Catholics on the floats will shower them with goodies. Others dress their children in eye catching costumes and seat them, holding baskets to catch the loot, on ladders that tower over the crowds. Others give up on the costume ploy altogether, finding that taking clothes off can be the quickest attention-getter.
Here at home, we can celebrate Mardi Gras just like the people in New Oreans. If not the same way, BETTER. Decorate your party space in beautiful bold and bright colors of Purple, Gold, and Green. With these colors use Mardi Gras Boas on your ceiling and walls to make your area a festive one. Place Mardi Gras Feather Headpieces on doors. Put stacks of smaller colored feather masks different shades all over the place. Do not forget to hand out to your guest Mardi Gras Beadsand Mardi Gras Coins to play who can get the most.
So if you are down in New Orleans, or just celebrating at home,
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