Mardi Gras is iconic with the city of New Orleans. This celebration dates back as early as the 17th and 18th centuries and is traditionally held before the religious observation of Lent. Festivities begin with Carnival season starting in January and leading all the way to the main celebration of Mardi Gras which takes place on the eve of Ash Wednesday.
Facts & Tips for Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Is A Legally Recognized Holiday
This ceremony is protected by law under the Mardi Gras act that was signed back in 1875 by then Governor Warmoth. New Orleans locals take pride in participating in the celebrations every year.
Why Do People Throw Beads During Mardi Gras?
The story goes that a man dressed as Santa Claus back in the 1880s became famous for throwing beads as he walked along the streets. The practice was adopted by the Krewes and continues as a part of the Mardi Gras traditions.
Schedule Of Festivities
2020 festivities kick off on Monday, January 6th and continue to Tuesday, February 25th. The Phunny Phorty Phellows, who are made up of about 50 costumed men and women blow trumpets and ride on decorated Streetcars along St. Charles Avenue. As they make their way down the street beads are thrown to excited parade goers.
Mardi Gras parades are organized by different Krewes, or social organizations located around New Orleans. Some of the popular Krewes include the Krewe of Zulu, Krewe of Endymion, and Krewe of Bacchus. Here is the schedule for 2020 Krewe performances:
Krewe of Endymion, Feb 22nd at 4:15pm
Krewe of Bacchus, Feb 23rd at 5:15pm
Krewe of Orpheus, Feb 24th at 6:00pm.
Carnival celebrations start on January 6th which marks the end of the Christmas season. The festivities kick off at sunset and continues long into the night. The next day is followed by parades and street parties across New Orleans. Celebrations continue on weekends and selected weekdays up until Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, marks the final day of feasting before Lent begins.
Where To Stay?
During the Mardi Gras season, it can be difficult to drive and find parking. To get the best view of the parades, it’s suggested to stay somewhere within the Garden District. This district borders Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue and is a convenient place to watch the festivities. Hotels fill up fast during this time, so make sure to book a room in advance.
Mardi Gras is a time-honored tradition down in New Orleans. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should have. Remember, there are some many things to do in this great city, aside from Mardi Gras. Take time to wander through our historic neighborhoods, explore the Bayou, and taste some delicious food. Start booking your trip today!