The phrase "Laissez les bons temps rouler!" which means "let the good times roll" in French, is one of the most popular sayings during Mardi Gras. Other frequently spoken terms include King cake, super krewe and throws.Continue Reading
"Laissez les bons temps rouler!" captures the heart of the Mardi Gras festival. This festival is designed for people to indulge in all the excitement and fun they can prior to Fat Tuesday. This special Tuesday marks the start of Lent, which is a time of reducing one's more indulgent activities. In the United States, one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations takes place in the city of New Orleans. As a result of this town's historic connection to France, many of the common phrases are expressed in French.
While this is the most famous phrase of the holiday, several other terms are prominent throughout the celebration. King cakes are special baked goods containing a small plastic baby figure symbolizing Jesus Christ. Super krewes are large groups of parade organizers. These groups work together to plan parade routes, get city permits and organize float assignments. Throws are the items people in the parade hand out to the watching crowd. These are traditionally plastic beads.Learn more about Mardi Gras
In the context of New Orleans' Mardi Gras celebrations, the term "Indians" refers to a traditional group of African Americans who dress up like Native Americans, wearing costumes that feature elaborate feather headdresses and other pieces adorned with beads and sequins. The Mardi Gras Indians are organized into groups that are referred to as tribes or gangs, some of which have roots that can be traced back to the late 19th century, when these groups first started organizing. Some of the suits worn by Mardi Gras Indians feature a blend of influences from Native American and African design traditions.Full Answer >
Depending on their complexity, Mardi Gras parade floats are made through a series of steps that involve design, foundation construction, frame building, sculpting figures on the float and finally adding decorative touches, such as paint and other finishing embellishments. In some cases, floats are built on preexisting chassis foundations that are already equipped to support the weight of a completed float in addition to being mechanically ready to be driven through a parade route.Full Answer >
The attire for a Mardi Gras ball varies greatly. It runs the gamut from formal wear to festive clothing featuring the traditional holiday colors: green, gold and purple. Costumes and masks are also popular Mardi Gras attire, according to the website Mardi Gras New Orleans.Full Answer >
In 1857, the Mistick Krewe of Comus became the first official Mardi Gras organization in New Orleans, setting the stage for generations of krewes to come and, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, even preventing Mardi Gras from becoming a mere violent street party. Though the original krewe no longer parades, the Comus organization is still active, producing a royal court each year.Full Answer >