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A Tour of New Orleans

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mardigras

Mardi Gras


A festival celebrated in Europe since Medieval times, Mardi Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday in French, was introduced to the United States by French settlers in the 19th century. Mardi Gras is celebrated in New Orleans every year on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is the last day of Carnival festivities, and the last day before Lent begins. Purple, green, and gold, which symbolize justice, faith, and power respectively are the official colors of Mardi Gras. Today, celebrations include parades, costumes, kingcakes, beads, and music.

Fun Fact: The flambeaux carriers, who carry torches to light the way for parade floats, were originally slaves and free men of color. Today, flambeaux carriers are considered world-class performance artists.

Photo source: Carol M. Highsmith

Next: Jackson Square

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