Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras King Cake "The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby, and a party. The King Cake is baked with a small plastic baby hidden inside, the person who gets the slice with baby in it has to host the next party. For the history of the King Cake, click here. For the recipe, click here.
Mardi Gras Masks Masks are an integral part of Mardi Gras culture. During early Mardi Gras celebrations hundreds of years ago, masks were a way for their wearers to escape class constraints and social demands. Mask wearers could mingle with people of all different classes and could be whomever they desired, at least for a few days. For mask making ideas, click here. For more information about the origin of mask wearing on Mardi Gras, click here.
The Throwing Of Beads The tradition of bead throwing starts with their original colors. The color of the beads was determined by the king of the first daytime Carnival in 1872. He wanted the colors to be royal colors – purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith. The idea was to toss the color to the person who exhibited the color’s meaning.The beads were originally made of glass. It wasn’t until the beads were made of plastic that throwing them became a staple of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
There's more to Mardi Gras in New Orleans than just one day or just one parade. Visit behind the scenes as preparations begin days, weeks and even months in advance of the big celebrations.
Videos to learn more about Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Pancake Supper