Monday, February 15, 2010


...starts early for me tomorrow; gotta be in
Bywater by 8:30 in the morning to march with St. Anne, which is problematic, of course, because I've been working mostly dinner shifts for a couple of years now. Whatever. It's Mardi Gras, and well worth it.

From Wikipedia:

New Orleans Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday in French) in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of the most famous Carnival celebrations in the world.

The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany (January 6). It is a season of parades, balls (some of them masquerade balls), and king cake parties. It has traditionally been part of the winter social season; at one time "coming out" parties for young women at d├ębutante balls were timed for this season.

Celebrations are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French), the day before Ash Wednesday. Usually there is one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades. The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the season. In the final week of Carnival, many events large and small occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities.

The parades in New Orleans are organized by Carnival krewes. Krewe float riders toss throws to the crowds; the most common throws are strings of plastic colorful beads, doubloons (aluminum or wooden dollar-sized coins usually impressed with a krewe logo), decorated plastic throw cups, and small inexpensive toys. Major krewes follow the same parade schedule and route each year.

While many tourists center their Mardi Gras season activities on Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, none of the major Mardi Gras parades has entered the Quarter since 1972 because of its narrow streets and overhead obstructions. Instead, major parades originate in the Uptown and Mid-City districts and follow a route along St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street, on the upriver side of the French Quarter.

To New Orleanians, "Mardi Gras" specifically refers to the Tuesday before lent, the highlight of the season. The term can also be used less specifically the whole Carnival season, sometimes as "the Mardi Gras season". The term "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras Day" always refers only to that single day.


I've got to go work on my costume here in a bit - I'm going as the "Health Insurance Lobby," with a pic or two of me coming in a few days - so not much color commentary from me tonight, either. However, my gf Carly got some shots of
the Saints Super Bowl victory parade last Tuesday, which might as well be a Mardi Gras event itself especially because various krewes lent them their floats, and I got a few shots of the Hermes parade, myself last Friday night.

They're posted below.

Saints Victory Parade

And a few from Hermes

Happy Mardi Gras!