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Everything you need to know before your first Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. #neworleans

Everything you need to know before your first Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. #neworleans

A "bead tree" in New Orleans, post Mardi Gras. Even though the party is over, the city remains decked out in these shiny, colorful beads for days after.

A "bead tree" in New Orleans, post Mardi Gras. Even though the party is over, the city remains decked out in these shiny, colorful beads for days after.

Mardi Gras, a.k.a. Fat Tuesday, is a Carnival celebration of food; a revelry before the first day of Lent; a final hurrah before forty days of fasting and abstinence—and boy, is it a wild festival in New Orleans. All in all, the festivities last two weeks, but culminate in bacchanalian parties and colorful parades during the five days surrounding Mardi Gras.

The Beginner's Guide to Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras, a.k.a. Fat Tuesday, is a Carnival celebration of food; a revelry before the first day of Lent; a final hurrah before forty days of fasting and abstinence—and boy, is it a wild festival in New Orleans. All in all, the festivities last two weeks, but culminate in bacchanalian parties and colorful parades during the five days surrounding Mardi Gras.

hurricanes in hand grenade cups for mardi gras

hurricanes in hand grenade cups for mardi gras

But how did this tradition come to be? And more importantly what do those beads stand for? The bead phenomena is a relatively new one considering that while the first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans occurred in the 1830s, it wasn’t until the Rex parade threw inexpensive handmade glass necklaces sometime in the 1920s that the tradition was born.

But how did this tradition come to be? And more importantly what do those beads stand for? The bead phenomena is a relatively new one considering that while the first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans occurred in the 1830s, it wasn’t until the Rex parade threw inexpensive handmade glass necklaces sometime in the 1920s that the tradition was born.

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