Mardi Gras is a Wordwide Celebration. When translated into English, "Mardi Gras" literally means Fat Tuesday. This celebration was brought to America by French settlers and was observed as part of their traditional Catholic practice. The celebration of Mardi Gras has roots in the Christian practice of preparing for the beginning of Lent, which is a celebration of fasting or penitence that begins on Ash Wednesday and continues for 40 days until Easter.
During the authentic celebration of Mardi Gras, which happens in New Orleans, daily parades are held for a period of about 2 weeks prior to and including on Fat Tuesday. During these parades, it is common for float riders to toss various items out to the crowds of onlookers. These items most commonly are strings of plastic beads, doubloons (double-sided coins usually in Mardi Gras colors), decorated plastic cups and small plastic toys.
Balls, masquerade balls in particular, are a very popular event during the Mardi Gras celebration. Elaborate masks in Venetian style are commonly worn during these events. Another Mardi Gras tradition is that of the King Cake. A King cake is a coffee cake that is rectangular in shape and braided. A small plastic baby or bean is placed inside each braided cake and once baked, the cake is iced and sprinkled with sugar that is colored purple, green and gold. Tradition says that whoever gets the baby in their slice of cake is to buy the next King Cake or host the next King Cake party.
Even if you aren’t anywhere near New Orleans, holding a Mardi Gras themed party is a very popular as well as fun idea. We have numerous Mardi Gras costumes and mask styles for your celebration including half masks, feather masks and Venetian style masks. Additionally, we have many styles of Mardi Gras appropriate hats, shoes, make up and other accessories that are definitely going to enhance your Mardi Gras festivities. To help you make the most of your Mardi Gras event or to learn more about this fascinating Holiday, you may want to read up on our Mardi Gras History and Party Tips.