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February 2015 - What's Happening @ LWLC : Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday aka Carnival

Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is traditionally the day to indulge before fasting (or giving up an item or items) before Lent. In the U.S., Mardi Gras is seen as a good excuse to celebrate and have fun. In other countries (Brazil, France, Italy), this day is known as Carnival. Recent years have seen these celebrations become a season of its own as different places celebrate it for different lengths of time. These lengths range from three days to almost a month.

Traditional practices include wearing masks and costumes, dancing, sports competitions, and especially, parades. In the U.S., Mardi Gras was celebrated where the French set up colonies with the first U.S. Mardi Gras parade being held in Mobile, Alabama in 1703. After New Orleans became the capital of French America (the area of which later became the 1803 Louisiana Purchase), the largest and most-famous Mardi Gras parades occur in New Orleans. Parades are organized by different private social organizations that play a major role in the social and busines functions of a city; these are called krewes in New Orleans, mystic societies in Mobile.

The colors you see the text are in traditional Mardi Gras colors. These are a relatively recent U.S tradition decided by the New Orleans Krewe of Rex in 1892. Purple represents justice, Gold represents power or wealth, Green represents faith. These are seen in the costumes, floats, beads, and cakes. I've even seen cookies with these colors. Therefore, Mardi Gras souvenirs which include these three colors would be the best ones which represent U.S. Mardi Gras.


 Photo source: (NF); Text: NF

Parades - Locations and Dates

Many cities in the Gulf Region have Mardi Gras parades. The two most popular are in Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Mobile - Parades will take place Feb. 5-10, 12-17, 2015.

More information can be found here.

New Orleans - Parades will take place Feb. 6-8, 12-17, 2015.

More information can be found here.

For 2015, Mardi Gras is on Feb. 17, 2015.

Which one to visit? Are there other parades to watch? Here are some sites for reference: 

All About Mardi Gras - above source for parade information and sights in different cities.

Mardi Gras Celebrations in the Southeast U.S.

Mardi Gras Parade Tips and Recommendations (New Orleans)

Text: NF

Books & eBooks

Here are some books and e-books accessible to ASU patrons  that discuss Mardi Gras / Carnival.

Also, Encyclopedia of Alabama has an entry on Mardi Gras in Mobile.

Text & selections: NF

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