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Sunday, February 19, 2012

new orleans mardi gras

new orleans mardi gras

The center of debauchery and entertainment in the American South shows its soul the best through the 19th century festival that was created by the combination of music, prostitution, French food and hedonism which is why there is no reason to be shy while looking for hostels in New Orleans for Mardi GrasMardi Gras was brought to New Orleans by the French colonizers, who used to celebrate their holiday, Fat Tuesday, on the banks of the Mississippi River, and every year during it festival streets get flooded with around 4 million people. If you’re coming to New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season it is better to book a hostel during last five days of the festivals since this is when the best and the largest parties and parades take place. Due to narrow streets,
Mardi Gras parades haven’t visited Bourbon Street since 1972 but this doesn’t mean you should skip it. From the historic and tourist point of view Bourbon Street became the most popular one in New Orleans. This mysterious street offers the most diverse entertainment, and things that you would be arrested for in every metropolitan in the world are a requirement in order to start the fun! An unbelievable interaction of all generations, colorful tacky ribbons, sequins and beads that are protruding behind every corner and can be bought for about 50 cents, are the first thing that makes an average visitor doubt in the fulfillment of this goal. However, if you wish to see the largest floats head to the St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street.
Some people believe that the traditional Mardi Gras colours, purple, gold and green, were chosen by Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff because of their meaning, pride, power, faith, on the other hand there are those who say they were chosen just because of looking good. Whatever the reason, you can’t go wrong in wearing one or all of these colors during Mardi Gras.
New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parades are organized by Carnival krews, whose float riders throw into the crowd colorful beads, decorated cups, small toys and doubloons, which are wooden or aluminum coins embedded with krewe’s logo. Krewes used to get cheap beads so they could do more throws, but as people lost interest in small beads, they were replaced with metallic ones, and now some even make their own limited editions of beads and toys, such as glass beads, optic fiber and LED powered toys.
A breath of old times can still be felt in the French Quarter where everything is teeming with strip clubs and sex shops surrounding numerous hostels in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
The Mardi Gras of New Orleans today has its roots in Medieval Europe. There is no correlation of how it has become one of the greatest parties in the world though from this origin. The history of Mardi Gras was tracked to the Romans, but it was a French-Canadian explorer that helped the south celebrate Mardi Gras for the first time in 1703. This happened not in New Orleans, however. It was in what is now Mobile, Alabama. Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville named the piece of land where he landed in 1699 "Pointe due Mardi Gras''.A secret society was formed in 1704 called the Masque de la Mobile and it is felt that this was a precursor of today's modern krewes. This society was part of Mardi Gras until 1709. Another one took its place, but the name was changed to "Boeuf Graf Society''. They had a bull head mounted on a rolling cart that they paraded through the streets. This celebration was done on the Tuesday before the start of Lent. The 1740's saw the first balls being held and in 1871 another krew was formed. Floats, Kings and making Mardi Gras a legal holiday all came about in the 1870's.
King Cakes are part of the tradition of Mardi Gras just as balls, floats and beads are. This Christian faith tradition began as the Feast of the Epiphany where it has its roots in the three kings that visited the baby Jesus, bearing gifts. Baking a cake was part of honoring the three kings. There is a baby that is inserted into the baked King Cake. The person that gets the piece of cake with the baby is to host the next King Cake party. They were made of simple dough formed into a ring then iced with the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold. Many people may not know that Mardi Gras is a forty seven day celebration with the culmination being on Shrove Tuesday.

The parade floats are made right in New Orleans and the main float maker is the Blaine Kern studio. They employ artists to design, sculpt, paint and animate the Mardi Gras floats every year. The studio has been in business since 1947 and offers tours. Part of this attraction is to make your own float with the help of the people in your tour group.

Throwing coins, beads and stuffed animals from the floats has been around since 1870 when the Twelfth Night Revelers, a Krew, began the tradition. In today's parades the coins that are thrown have the parade theme on one side and the Krewes emblem on the other. There are also Celebrity King doubloons that are considered collector's items. The competition for all the items that are thrown from the floats is formidable and fun.

The streets of the French Quarter are closed during parade time so that the many revelers can party. There will be plenty of music coming from the many establishments in the French Quarter. Book hotels rooms well in advance if visiting during Mardi Gras.

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