Occasions 365

Mardi Gras Masks

Festive masks for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras first began in the Middle Ages as a celebration of the lifting of many Roman Catholic practices. So in essence, it was a religious celebration. Fat Tuesday gets its name because a fattened ox used to be paraded through town on that day. The first Mardi Gras in the United States is usually credited to Mobile, Alabama, although today the most famous Mardi Gras party is in New Orleans, Louisiana. Some people say that New Orleans celebrated it first informally through the French immigrants, even though it wasn't a formal celebration or parade until 1857. This celebration takes place in many states, although most notably in Southern states. It also is celebrated in most countries, especially France and Germany.

Mardi Gras Mask Styles

One of the biggest parts of Mardi Gras celebrations is the masks. Some enthusiasts take all year designing and decorating their masks. The most popular are feather masks. They are usually full face masks, although some masks for Mardi Gras cover only the eyes. Green, gold and purple are the colors for New Orleans and Mardi Gras, and they are liberally incorporated into the masks. Sometimes, it seems that the more decorations you have on the mask, the better. People include beads, feathers, sequins, ribbon, lace, flowers and fake jewels. When making or thinking about Mardi Gras masks, people always try to get the biggest and best mask that they can.

Mardi Gras Costumes

Mardi Gras costumes are another big part of the celebration. Everyone dresses up and parades through the entire city of New Orleans. Usually, costumes follow the theme of the mask, and vice versa. People dress up like animals, birds, pirates and all sorts of things. Mardi Gras boas and beads are worn liberally by just about everyone. Beads are also thrown to spectators along the parade route. People have private Mardi Gras costume parties to see who can come up with the most elaborate, authentic costume. It's really a time for adults to dress up and have a great time.

Mardi Gras is a time for people to let loose and celebrate coming through another winter. It has developed from a religious celebration to become a time to dress up, express your wild side and just have fun.

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