Mardi Gras Essay

534 words - 3 pages

When most think of Mardi Gras, they think of New Orleans, bourbon street, masses of people, and a fun filled weekend, but most do not go as far as to research the history. Mardi Gras came to New Orleans through its French heritage in 1699. Mardi Gras had been celebrated in Paris since the Middle Ages, where it was a major holiday. Iberville, a French explorer, sailed into the Gulf of Mexico, from where he launched an expedition up the Mississippi River. On March 3 of 1699, Iberville had set up a camp on the west bank of the river about 60 miles south of where New Orleans is today. This was the day Mardi Gras was being celebrated in France. In honor of this important day, Iberville named the site Point du ...view middle of the document...

" It is the day the gift-bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus, and is celebrated with its own unique rituals. Mardi has 3 different colors that all represent something related to the holiday. The colors are purple, green and gold, are all in different ways, significant to the holiday. These colors were chosen in 1872 by the King of Carnival, Rex. He chose the colors to stand for justice faith, and power; green represents faith, gold represents power, and purple represents justice. The history of Mardi gras is in turn a good depiction of our country today and the morals that it was founded on, although it has turned somewhat from what it was founded to be. Rex's intentions were to create a holiday that could be simple to celebrate and stand for something memorable, but now New Orleans Mardi Gras is known to be dangerous, wild and sometimes even outrageous. Although Mardi Gras can mean different things to different people, Mardi Gras actually means "Fat Tuesday" and in turn is celebrated on that day of the week. The date can fall between February 3 and March 9 depending on the lunar calendar, which is used by the Catholic Church to determine the date of Easter. Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter Sunday, so not all aspects of Mardi Gras have changed. Throughout the years, some of what were the major aspects of Mardi Gras, have changed. The elaborate masked balls which were celebrated now are only continued by about 10 krewes, doubloons have lost popularity, and instead of having intentions of a religious pilgrimage, many look forward to nothing more than flashes of nudity and drunken escapades. This shows, to an almost outrageous extent, how much society has changed.

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