Mardi Gras (pronounced “Graw”) was actually started in the US in Mobile, Alabama. Most people think it originated in New Orleans, Louisiana. But it is still celebrated in Mobile, at a smaller scale. New Orleans is definitely the place to visit in the US, if you really want to get a taste of what Mardi Gras is all about. Mardi Gras is also celebrated in many different countries, with each having their own unique traditions.
When I lived in New Orleans, we would have three days off during Mardi Gras “week”. It was so much fun. There would be parades every day and night. The celebration this year begins on January 6th and goes through February 13th. The last Tuesday of the celebration is known as Fat Tuesday. There are king cakes, moon pies and all kinds of rich foods including seafood gumbo served thrust the celebration. They actually throw out the moon pies at the parades.
1872 was the year that a group of businessmen invented a King of Carnival, Rex, to preside over the first daytime parade. To honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff, the businessmen introduced Romanoff’s family colors of purple, green and gold as the Carnival’s official colors. Purple stands for justice; gold for power; and green for faith. “Fat Tuesday” is considered a legal holiday in Louisiana. There is a parade that always ends Mardi Gras in the New Orleans Superdome.