Mardi Gras also known as Fat Tuesday, marks a holiday in various regions of the USA and features a number of big and small celebrations.
It is often also called Shrove Tuesday which marks the last day of celebrations and festivals, before the fast for Lent starts. If you are planning to book tickets for a holiday in the US during February, the best time would be between 5th and 8th February.
Mardi Gras was held in the US for the first time in 1703 when it was still a French colony. The present custom of celebrating Mardi Gras by hosting an elaborate parade was started by the Cowbellion de Rakin Society in 1840, who assisted another group to set-up the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans in 1857. Mistick Kreweof Comus was the foremost carnival society, which participated in the coordination of the event, the same year.
Present Day Celebrations
Shrove Tuesday is celebrated on the final day before the fast for Lent across the country. Have a look at some major cities across USA where Mardi Gras is celebrated with great zeal and zest.
The famous parade during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana is celebrated by masquerades and revellers dancing on the roads. The main highlights of the parade are the King of the Carnival, the Monarch of Merriment and Comus (known as the God of Revelry). On that day, the revellers can be seen in colourful and extravagant costumes. A magnificent ball is organised on the occasion.
Orlando is said to host the best Mardi Gras celebrations in the country after New Orleans. Orlando’s Universal Studios Mardi Gras has something for people of all ages. Famous musical performances, Cajun food such as shrimp gumbo and jambalaya, and live concerts are all part and parcel of the celebrations.
The Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile started in 1703 as the first and the oldest Mardi Gras carnival celebration in the US. With traditional parades, huge crowds and marching bands; the most unique aspect about the Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile, is the fact that people from different religions and cultures, including Swedes, Americans, Creoles, Africans, Britons and Spaniards celebrate it.
Louisiana marks a state holiday on Mardi Gras. It is also a holiday in the Mobile and Baldwin counties exclusively in Alabama. The county of Mississippi or other governing authorities have the liberty to declare Mardi Gras as a public holiday, that can replace any legal holiday apart from the Birthday of Martin Luther King combined by the Birthday of Robert Lee.