Mardi Gras
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Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras 2018 Date

When: 13th February 2018
Where: New Orleans, USA

Mardi Gras is an incredible and almost indescribable celebration in New Orleans, USA. If you had to try though, you would call it One Big Party! It is absolutely unique and comes complete with parades, floats, picnics, music, dancing, costumes, beads, artists, amazing food and an all-round party atmosphere. Creative costumes, mini-parades, organised and impromptu entertainment, walking clubs, laughter, and street theater and much, much more is everywhere, especially on the Canal Street. Everybody dresses in purple, green and gold (the official colours of Mardi Gras), and you will bump into innumerable street musicians and artists as you walk around the city. All offices are closed on this holiday, since most roads are blocked anyway. There is an infectious air of excitement - be sure to catch this virus, because everybody there will be in high spirits!

Mardi Gras 2018 celebration

The Parades start about two weeks before the day of Mardi Gras. There are several types of parades; some are rolled out by traditional Krewes who have tableau balls, and an elected king and queen. These Krewes go back to the 1800's and have helped establish Mardi Gras traditions in New Orleans. The Krewe of Rex presents the oldest parade, which dates back to 1872. The King of Rex is the official King of Carnival.

This year, parades will start on January 6th.

Things to do at Mardi Gras

If you travelling with children, and want to enjoy outdoor picnics and watch the self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Free Show on Earth’, this is the place to be! While waiting for the parades, you can watch marching bands, listen to the music in the air, and catch toys, doubloons and beads that are being ‘thrown’!

You can sit down on your chair or right on the ground while revellers around you throw frisbees and walk their dogs. Watch for the approaching parades, grab some cotton candy and see if you can catch doubloons from the many celebrities that tend to make an appearance here!

When to arrive

Remember to not confuse Mardi Gras with Carnival! Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday and marks the final day of excitement before Ash Wednesday, which is when Lent begins. This year, Mardi Gras falls on February 28th - the date of Mardi Gras changes every year because it is connected to Easter, which falls on any Sunday between March 23 - April 25. Mardi Gras is scheduled to be 47 days before Easter.

The weekend before Fat Tuesday is the prime time to visit. This is when two of the biggest parades of the season, Bacchus and Endymion, cruise down the streets.

Don’t forget to look for great package deals on hotels that offer you a balcony view of the parades!


The first Mardi Gras parade was held in New Orleans on February 24, 1857 by the Krewe of Comus. They began the tradition of presenting a parade with floats and following it with a ball for the Krewe and their guests.

Most krewes are named after figures from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology; some are named after the neighborhood where they parade.

Each parade krewe decides upon its own theme each year, which can be kept secret until the parade.

Rex, the King of Carnival, selected the Mardi Gras colors and gave them meaning in 1892. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.

The tradition of float riders throwing trinkets to the crowds began in the 1870s. Typical ‘throws’ include beads, cups, doubloons, and stuffed animals.

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