Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mardi Gras

The first Mardi Gras was February 27, 1827 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Early French settlers practiced Mardi Gras in other areas before New Orleans but it by the end of the 17th century Spanish Governors put an end to the celebration. AFter Louisiana became a state the residents of New Orleans managed to have the ban on wearing masks and dancing/partying in the streets.

The original Mardi Gras was a group of students, who had returned from school in Paris, wore masks and costumes and danced through the streets on the last day of Carnival season. Also known as Fat Tuesday because it was the day before Ash Wednesday.

Ten years later in 1837 the first "organized' Mardi Gras parade was started. It was reported in 1839 that there was only one float but people marveled at the parade and it was considered a successful event.

In 1872 Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff from Russia attended the parade. It was through his presence and influence that the traditional colors of Mardi Gras were adopted. Purple as the symbol of Justice, green as the symbol of faith and gold as the symbol of power.


  1. I appreciate this, but the article about Mardi Gras can be disputed. As a native of Mobile, Alabama, we often claim that the Mardi Gras version seen in both Mobile and New Orleans today actually originated in Mobile. Both cities love to argue about where it actually began. To be really technical, it can be traced back to ancient times. Though I grew up in Mobile, I lived in New Orleans for 25 years. New Orleans' noted expert on Mardi Gras, a writer who publishes the Mardi Gras guide every year down there, Arthur Hardy, says the first documented parade was held in 1837, not 1827. Mobile's connection entered the picture when a group of New Orleans gentlemen moved to Mobile and joined the Cowbelllion de Rakin Society, which was founded by Michael Kraft in 1830. This organization held parades every New Years Eve. These gentlemen later moved back to New Orleans and in 1857 founded the Krewe of Comus. Krewe is not a misspelling. This Mardi Gras krewe held the first parade with floats, flambeaux, etc. So, we can see why our cities like to argue about where it actually began. No big deal :) I just thought I'd add my two cents worth since I'd researched it for one of my novels.

    1. Thanks for posting John. You're correct folks ought to know the disputed facts regarding Mardi Gras. I also found this information about Mobile and the first Mardi Gras when I was working on a possible three book series set in Mobile.

  2. The above comments are why it is recommended to get three sources to verify your historical information.