Mardi Gras History

Mardi Gras is a celebration held in New Orleans each year. When directly translated from its French origins it means Fat Tuesday and appropriately is celebrated on that day of the week each year. This well known street party always takes place 47 days before aster Sunday. Let’s take a look at Mardi Gras history to see how it has become the popular festival that it is today.

Mardi Gras history begins in 1699, when it was brought to the United States by a French explorer named Iberville. The French had celebrated this holiday since the middle ages. The tradition of masked festivals during Mardi Gras was popular in New Orleans while it was ruled by the French. However, when the US took possession of the city the tradition was banned until 1823 when the large Creole population convinced the government to allow the masked holiday.

Mardi Gras history hit a snag again in then 1840’s and 50’s when it was banned once again due to the negative reputation that surrounded it. Then in 1857 the Comus organization was formed and Mardi Gras was once again allowed. Then in 1872 the “king of Carnival” tradition began and the colors purple, green, and gold became the official colors of the parade.

Mardi Gras history was put on hold again in 1918 and 1919 when the US was involved in World War One. The celebration was weak during the 1920’s and 30’s when the country suffered through the Great Depression and Prohibition.

Mardi Gras thrived during the 1940’s, though it was canceled during the years of war again. Since then the popularity of Mardi Gras has been on the rise. Every year thousand of tourists travel to New Orleans to take part in the celebration, involving masks, beads, parades, liquor, and music.