Mardi Gras is just around the corner and we have everything but King Cake to make this holiday as much fun as possible! We have beads galore, masks, boas, costumes, glasses, glitter and much, much more, you will just have to come in and see for yourself! Plus keep scrolling because there will be some interesting and fun facts about this wacky holiday!
Mardi Gras means ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French.¬†Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Also known as Carnival, it is celebrated in many countries around the world, mostly those with big Roman Catholic populations, on the day before the religious season of Lent begins.Brazil, Venice and New Orleans have some of the holiday‚Äôs most famous festivities, bringing thousands of tourists every year.
When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to link these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier undertaking than removing them altogether. The result? The exuberance and indulgence of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter¬†Sunday.Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and England.
It is believed that the first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when the French explorers Iberville and Bienville landed in what is now Louisiana¬†just south of the holiday‚Äôs future command post: New Orleans.¬†They held a small jubilee and named the spot Point du Mardi Gras. In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began distinguishing the holiday with street parties, masked balls and opulent dinners. When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, they abolished these uproarious rituals, and the restrictions remained in force until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812.
On Mardi Gras in 1827, a group of students dressed in colorful costumes and danced through the streets of New Orleans, mimicking the festivities they‚Äôd seen while visiting Paris. Ten years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day.¬†In 1857, a secret society of New Orleans called the Mistick Krewe of Comus organized a torch-lit Mardi Gras parade with marching bands and rolling floats, setting the tone for future public festivities in the city. Since then, krewes have remained a fixture of the Carnival scene throughout Louisiana.¬†Other lasting customs include throwing beads and other trinkets, wearing masks, decorating floats and eating King Cake.
Make sure you come in and see all the festive trinkets that we have to make this holiday one to remember!