• Who officially runs Mardi Gras in
• Mardi Gras is a HOLIDAY, like
Christmas. Or Halloween.
Anyone can create Mardi Gras
events. But the best parts of
Mardi Gras are free ...
• All parades – probably the most
recognizable element of Carnival –
are held on public streets.
• There are no ticket booths to enter
the French Quarter (although an age
restriction would probably be a good
• What are the official dates for
• It is a common misperception
that Mardi Gras is the start of a
couple of weeks of parading and
heavy partying. That’s
• Mardi Gras is the END, the last
day of the partying.
• What’s the difference between
Carnival and Mardi Gras?
• The Carnival season officially begins
on Jan. 6th and continues until
midnight of Fat Tuesday (Mardi
• But « Mardi Gras » is also commonly
used to refer to the whole Carnival
• Carnival (carne vale) is Latin for
«goodbye meat», i.e. no meat during
the 40 days of Lent.
• New Orleans, this historically
Roman Catholic city, which
loves its food and drink more
than normal, prepares for the
pre-Easter Lent season by
partying until the last minute.
• How early in the year can Mardi
Gras be … and how late?
• Backed up 47 days before
Easter, Mardi Gras can occur as
early as Feb. 3 and as late as
• Why do some people say that
the period of Lent before Easter
lasts 47 days and others say
that it lasts 40 days?
• Because in the 40 day period
Sundays, Good Friday and the
Saturday before Easter are not
• Is there a lot of nudity during
Mardi Gras in New Orleans?
• That depends on your definition
of « a lot. » Most of all, it
depends on where you’re
• There is certainly SOME nudity
during Mardi Gras. In general, it
occurs within the French
• In most places in the city, you
are unlikely to see any nudity at
all… and if you do, you are likely
to see the exposed person in
handcuffs a short time later.
• Did Mobile, Alabama, or New
Orleans have the first Mardi
• Neither !!!
• Carnival / Mardi Gras is a
European import, celebrated
long before Columbus.
• In fact, long before Europe
was Christianized, Carnival
was a pagan bacchanalia of
drinking and debauchery…
which hasn’t changed much.
• Much of Catholic Europe
celebrates Carnival under
one name or another, again
as a season of partying
• Is it true that Mardi Gras is
really a pagan holiday?
• There is no doubt that the
period of celebration that we
call Carnival has roots in
pagan end-of-winter and
reaching back thousands of
• These festivals existed
across most lands that were
overtaken by the Christian
• What’s the drinking age in New
• Despite rumors to the contrary,
and the number of youngsters
who manage to obtain alcohol,
the drinking age in New Orleans
• What’s the best way to get
• The best way to get beads free
is to attend Mardi Gras parades.
• Each float rider has to provide
his own « throws », mostly
thousands of green, purple and
• What do the colors purple,
green and gold mean?
• Purple is for justice,
• Green for faith and
• Gold for power.