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New Orleans Mardi Gras

Listed under Festivals in New Orleans, United States.

  • Photo of New Orleans Mardi Gras
  • Photo of New Orleans Mardi Gras
  • Photo of New Orleans Mardi Gras
  • Photo of New Orleans Mardi Gras
  • Photo of New Orleans Mardi Gras
Photo of New Orleans Mardi Gras
Photo by flickr user DoctorWho
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The New Orleans Mardi Gras Carnival reflects the party spirit of a city still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Between 40 and 50 parades of huge, carefully designed floats, dancing, music and marching take place along several different routes over the two week long festival every February.

As well as the colourful parades, Mardi Gras is a time for picnics, formal balls and dressing up and everyone in New Orleans is encouraged to don the Mardi Gras colours of purple (for justice), green (for faith), and gold (for power).

Many people will tend to think the debauched behaviour on display in the French Quarter when they picture New Orleans Mardi Gras - however most of the parades and events are suitable for children to attend. None of the parades now go through the French Quarter because the streets are too narrow and the area is packed with hard core party goers looking to drink - and behave - to excess.

The tradition of throwing trinkets or medallions from the floats, begun in the 1870’s, continues here and is very popular with local children, who have been competing for Mardi Gras 'throws' since they were small. If you’re looking for a keepsake the best throws are from the Bacchus Parade, where the New Orleans Mardi Gras king throws doubloons which have become valuable collector’s items. But be aware that there is fierce competition!

Official Website of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Carnival.

Written by  Amy Winterburn.

Other expert and press reviews

“Zulu Krewe at 100: Still Marching to Its Own Beat”

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