Hi, Just Making Sure Mardi Gras Celebrations Are Happening This Year

Hi, Just Making Sure Mardi Gras Celebrations Are Happening This Year

Ok, quick activity: When you think of Mardi Gras, what do you see? If you immediately thought of a combo of purple, green, and gold, you’re off to a good start. Oh, you thought of beaded necklaces and parades too? You’re justttt about halfway there. Don’t worry, though, because whether you never miss your city’s Mardi Gras events or you just kinda recognize the holiday from that one scene in The Princess and the Frog, I’m here to fill in all the gaps.

Alright, so Mardi Gras—also known as Fat Tuesday or Carnival—is actually meant to serve as the final day of extravagant celebration and feasting before the beginning of Lent (a six-week fasting period observed by the Christian religion before Easter). The holiday has a superrrr long history (like… the 1700s) and has deep roots in New Orleans. Celebrations first started as very fancy community balls then eventually expanded to street parades in the 1800s.

Still waiting for the significance of those Mardi Gras masks you’ve seen in Party City? Well, it’s a tradition that Mardi Gras partygoers wear them throughout the celebrations to keep their identities concealed, so that everyone could mingle with whoever they wanted. And then there’s those (iconic) Mardi Gras colors we talked about before: The purple is meant to represent justice, the gold is meant to represent faith, and the green is meant to represent power. The more you freaking know!!

When is Mardi Gras 2022?

Alright, now that you’re an official Mardi Gras expert, we’ve got to go over the specifics. So the official date of Mardi Gras is March 1, 2022, but the Carnival season actually began back on January 6th. That date is known in Christianity as the Twelfth Night, or the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas. So, when the holiday season officially ends, Carnival officially begins!

Now, if you’re looking to celebrate in New Orleans, the prime time for festivities starts on February 23rd, as the city actually has daily parades and activities scheduled from that night all the way through March 1st (pace yourself, guys!). Before you book your flights, though, just remember that Mardi Gras’ religious ties make it super popular in most majority Catholic countries, so you can also experience some amazing parades in France, Italy, or even Brazil if you’re feeling like an international trip (and are willing to take the safety precautions to travel internationally rn).

Can we party for Mardi Gras 2022 safely?

I know you’ve had to have this convo before all of your latest life moments but, honestly, progress takes compromise, guys. Last year, all of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations were canceled but, thankfully, things are on track for 2022 (with a few super helpful safety precautions). One thing that’ll definitely look a little different from previous years is the festival routes; while New Orleans’ processions can usually go on for miles, COVID layoffs and staff shortages mean that any street festivities will need to be kept in tighter quarters. There aren’t many other restrictions for outdoor events but, if you’re looking to go inside a bar or restaurant, you’ll need to have proof of vax or of a negative COVID test. New Orleans also reinstated its indoor mask mandate on January 12th, so definitely be sure to mask up (regardless of your vax status).

How can we still celebrate at home?

If you’re not quite ready to navigate the typically gigantic Mardi Gras crowds (totally understandable), there are definitely more intimate ways you can celebrate the holiday with your nearest and dearest. One *delicious* tradition we haven’t covered yet is the infamous King Cake, a cake (duh) that has a tiny, plastic baby baked into it. We know that January 6th is considered the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas, but it also has another significance in Christianity, as the day that Jesus’ birth was first revealed to the three wise men. Do we understand the baby now?

Anyways, this is how the tradition goes: one person throws a party during Carnival season and serves a King Cake. Whoever is given the slice containing the baby then becomes the host of the next party. All you have to do is repeat this chain with your crew from February 23rd to March 1st and there will literally be no room for parade FOMO. And don’t forget to deck out your living rooms in purple, green, and gold!!

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