Here's How to Celebrate Mardi Gras at Home
Laissez les bons temps rouler, Campers!
Maria Bailey · 6 months ago
It's time to break out those beads and festive masks because Mardi Gras has officially arrived! The holiday marks the last day of the Carnival season, which is basically a 6-week period of celebrations around the globe! On home turf, Mardi Gras is an official holiday in the state of Louisiana, but the epicenter of the party is in New Orleans.
The city comes alive as lavish parades hit the streets, music fills the air, along with the sweet, sweet smell of French Quarter beignets. It should come as no surprise that festivities will be a little different this year, but luckily the true spirit of the day reigns supreme, thanks in part to the many ways you can celebrate the holiday right at home.
But First, What Is Mardi Gras?
To most people, Mardi Gras is just a good excuse to party; however, there's much more to the holiday than a big crazy bash! Mardi Gras, which literally means Fat Tuesday in French, occurs the day before Ash Wednesday, the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting for Lent. Since Ash Wednesday moves with Easter, the day in which Mardi Gras takes place moves as well; this year, the festivities kick off on February 16th!
Join the Worldwide (Web) Mardi Gras Carnival
Some could argue this year's Mardi Gras Carnival will be bigger than ever before, with a three-night, 4.5 hour online spectacular that promises to attract a record number of (virtual) revelers from around the world! The event, called Mardi Gras For All Y'all, will host an exciting lineup of entertainment, including the sights and sounds of Carnival, musical performances, celebrity interviews, and a celebration of New Orleans culture. Get ready for the Mardi Gras virtual experience, set to go live in three segments on February 12th, 13th, and 14th.
Jam to the Music of Mardi Gras Like You’re on Bourbon Street
You can't have a Mardi Gras celebration without playing the signature sounds of New Orleans! From brass bands to classic NOLO jazz, you'll be transported to the buzzing streets of the French Quarter with this Mardi Gras playlist created by Spotify. So turn up the sound and dance like nobody's watching (which shouldn't be a problem this year)!
Another way to celebrate Mardi Gras is by attending a dance or ball! Some Mardi Gras parties are masquerade balls, where costumed guests conceal their identity behind elaborate, colorful masks. This is a perfect opportunity to get creative and add your own personal touch by making masks in the holiday's official colors: green, gold, and purple. Fun fact: did you know green stands for faith, gold stands for power, and purple stands for justice? Well, now you do! Follow these fun and easy steps by 100 Directions to create your own DIY Mardi Gras mask with plenty of personality!
Make Your Own French Quarter Beignets
There's no putting into words the deliciousness of a French Quarter beignet, but luckily we don't have to since you can get a little taste of New Orleans right at home! Cafe Du Monde, a legendary French market and coffee stand that has been making heavenly beignets in New Orleans since 1862, has a beignet mix so you can make these puffy French sugar-powdered donuts in your own kitchen!
Did Someone Say King Cake?
While we're on sweet treats, you can't forget the all-time Mardi Gras favorite: king cake! It is believed we have the French to thank for bringing this delicious tradition over to New Orleans in 1870, and the rest is history. A traditional king cake is made with a brioche-style dough mixed with cinnamon and sugar, which is then topped with glaze and sprinkled with sugar in the holiday's official colors! But that's not all. Each cake conceals a tiny baby inside — please note no REAL-LIFE babies were harmed in the making of these delicious treats. They're made from plastic, porcelain, or even gold (if you're lucky)! Whoever discovers the little surprise in their cake gets to host next year's king cake party. This recipe by I'm Not The Nanny is an easy spin on the traditional holiday treat, making it a perfect activity for little bakers, too!