The celebration originated in the 1st century, known in Rome as Fat Tuesday (although there were similar pagan festivals for hundreds of years prior). Tuesday was reserved for gluttonous feasting before the Lenten period of fasting and penitence that would begin on the following day, Ash Wednesday. The custom caught on across Europe and in France, it was translated to “Mardi Gras”. When the French explorer Bienville disembarked in North America, he named the land “Pointe du Mardi Gras”. He also established several other French settlements in the territory that would become Alabama and Louisiana. French settlers immediately began Mardi Gras festivities, including masked balls and opulent dinners. Over the course of the next 150 years, celebrants added night time parades illuminated by flaming torches, complete with revelers dancing in full costume, marching bands, and decorated floats.
Did You Know? In some places, it is illegal to ride a Mardi Gras float without a mask.
Having a Mardi Gras Party? The expert floral designers at Trias Flowers have all the beautiful flowers dress up your event, designed in the official gold, purple, and green of the holiday. The colors represent power, justice, and faith, respectively.
While New Orleans is known for the most extravagant celebrations, there are Mardi Gras events all across the country, including Miami! Events ranging from pub crawls, to dinner specials, parties at hotels, and even movie events will happen throughout the city. January 29th marked the return of the Mardi Gras parade in North Miami as well.
Did You Know? Although Fat Tuesday takes place on February 28th this year, celebrations traditionally take place over a two month “Carnivale” season, culminating in the Tuesday feast.
With so much Mardi Gras revelry, you may be inspired to host your own party. You’ll need the customary beads and trinkets, elaborately decorated masks, the traditional tri-colored Kings Cake – and don’t forget the flowers! There is no more festive way to decorate than with an exquisite arrangement from Trias Flowers.