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Bacchus Mardi Gras Parade
Bacchus Mardi Gras Parade
Bacchus Mardi Gras Parade

MARDI GRAS

The king of New Orleans celebrations shows off the city's spirit

That’s the call to riders dispensing beads and “throws” from the elaborate floats of Mardi Gras. The name of the holiday’s misleading. It’s about a month or so of parties named for just one day, Fat Tuesday, the last day before Lent. But Mardi Gras is more in New Orleans. No one does Carnival like the Crescent City. Beginning on Twelfth Night, Jan. 6, the city is obsessed with eating, costuming, bead-tossing and parading that increases in intensity as Ash Wednesday nears. On the weekends leading up to Fat Tuesday, parades roll all over town. Spectators gasp at the colossal Endymion floats and delight in the social satire of Krewe d’Etat’s. There are new traditions like Chewbacchus with its Star Wars-inspired tomfoolery and ages old ones such as Zulu and Rex. Visitors are encouraged to explore New Orleans Mardi Gras traditions. To eat oysters and king cake, watch parades roll down St. Charles Avenue and tag along with marching krewes as they wind their way into the Quarter from New Orleans historic neighborhoods.

Mardi Gras History & Traditions
  • Certain aspects of Mardi Gras are shrouded in mystery. For instance, the official parade schedule isn’t typically released until the first few weeks of each new year. Read More
  • Nothing about Mardi Gras is predictable – not even the date. Unlike Christmas or the 4thof July which always fall on the same calendar day, the only thing you can count on for sure with Carnival... Read More
  • Think Mardi Gras is just beer, beads and Bourbon Street? You need to keep reading. Read More
  • Already been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans? Think you can scratch it off your bucket list? Not so fast! Before you say you’ve seen it all, here are some specific must-dos. Read More
  • The more you know about Mardi Gras tradition, the more fun you’ll have. Here’s a primer based on facts from Mardi Gras guru Arthur Hardy. Read More
  • Mardi Gras is more than an event –it’s a culture with a vocabulary all its own. Here are some words you might hear thrown around like beads at a parade. Read More
  • For more than 130 years, Mardi Gras “throws” have been part of the fun of Carnival. Read More
  • Is there anything richer than praline pecan cheesecake? Yes. The history and traditions of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Let’s take a look behind the mask. Read More
  • Is there anything cuter than the first time a little one yells, Throw me something, mister or gets the piece of king cake with baby? Read More
  • Wherever there are sequins and feathers, the New Orleans LGBTQ community is there and Mardi Gras is no exception Read More
  • Like every balcony in the French Quarter, the streets of New Orleans are overcrowded during Carnival season. Read More
  • Mardi Gras krewes throw the parades and each has its own history and traditions. Let us throw you a little trivia, mister.   Read More

Mardi Gras All Year Long

  • The magic and spectacle that is Mardi Gras happens every Carnival season starting Twelfth Night, Jan. 6, and culminating on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday on the Advent calendar. But you... Read More
  • If you missed the city’s annual Carnival festivities, take a Segway, bike, walking or bus tour to learn about the Mardi Gras tradition. Read More
  • In a city where costume shops are as common as supermarkets, there is always a reason to find more finery. Halloween, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, the Red Dress Run -- dressing up is about... Read More
  • Take home some Carnival spirit from some of the many places that sell beads, costumes and other outlandish supplies. Click here to find your one-stop-shop for costumes, Mardi Gras beads, wigs,... Read More
Mardi Gras World
Come see where Mardi Gras is made. See Mardi Gras magic created right before...

Mardi Gras Videos