Mardi Gras 2020

Mardi Gras 2020

Mallory Hemphill

 

Mardi Gras Day is the last day of the carnival season. The origins of Mardi Gras are traced from medieval Europe, from Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries, and to the French house of the Bourbons. It has names like “Boeuf Gras” or fatted calf and many traditions. On March 2nd, 1699, a French-Canadian explorer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived to a plot of 60 ground miles directly south of New Orleans. He named it “Pointe du Mardi Gras,” realizing it was the eve of the festive holiday.

In 1710, “Boeuf Gras Society” was formed and parades began in 1711 with a bull’s head pushed on wheels by 16 men. Later on, they made huge improvements to the parade and made it more fun for everyone. In 1875, Governor Warmoth signed the “Mardi Gras Act,” making Fat Tuesday a legal holiday in Louisiana, which it still is! All of these parade organizations are completely funded by their members, New Orleanians call it the “Greatest Free Show On Earth!!”

2020 Mardi Gras is being held on February 25, which is Fat Tuesday and last day of the Carnival season. It always falls the day before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent. A popular time to come visit New Orleans is the extended weekend before Mardi Gras when you can catch the best parades. Including Bacchus, Endymion, Zulu, Rex.