Most of us are familiar with Mardi Gras, at least to some extent, but what it represents and why it exists remains a mystery to many still today. Spend some time with Tradewinds Travel Club as we take a closer look at this great holiday in the historic city of New Orleans.
In one year alone, over 4 million people come to New Orleans to experience Mardi Gras. Often billed as the greatest free show on earth, Mardi Gras represents the history, culture and the celebrations that are uniquely New Orleans. Beginning in January, the Mardi Gras festivals begin to appear and continue throughout the month, peaking in late February and early March as Fat Tuesday approaches. Parades, parties, cakes and foods and much more keep the city alive during this most popular time of the year.
So what is Mardi Gras and why do we celebrate it today? Historically speaking, Mardi Gras began as a religious celebration when the Roman Catholic church legitimized the festival as a celebration taking place right before Lent. If you look back to the time when Mardi Gras was actually begun, it would require a look into the 18th century when mention is made of it by an early French explorer named Pierre le Moyne.
Throughout the 19th century, Mardi Gras continued to grow and thrive as the celebrations became larger and more boisterous. People wearing masks and riding in decorated carriages brought about the first documented parade procession in the year 1837 and 20 years later, Mardi Gras of modern day was beginning to show. Traditions of today began to appear including Kings Cake, crowning Kings of the festival, the costumes, masks and much more that make Mardi Gras what it is today.
As a tourist attraction, Mardi Gras is one of the biggest in the world, generating almost a half a billion dollars each year to the state of Louisiana. Find out for yourself what makes Mardi Gras the grand celebration that it is today. Tradewinds Travel Club invites you to experience the greatest free show on earth this year and experience New Orleans in a way special to the area. Make the most of your vacations by learning about the history and traditions that make the U.S. what it is today, a celebration of all beliefs and cultures from around the world.
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