New Orleans Mardi Gras

Carnival season begins on January 6, or Twelfth Night, commemorating the day the three kings presented their gifts to Christ shortly after his birth.  Carnival ends and culminates on Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or the day before Ash Wednesday and Lent begins in the Christian Tradition.  Revelers indulge in food and drink before the fasting and austerity of Lent begins.

The twelve days leading up to Mardi Gras see over 60 parades and private parties and balls around the city.  Mardi Gras began to be celebrated in the 1820s with masked revelers on foot and carriages and, over its history, created lasting traditions that are unique to New Orleans.  Today, those old traditions are juxtaposed with high-tech innovation that create with a magical whimsy reflected in each parade. 

Visitors can have a taste of Mardi Gras year-round by visiting Mardi Gras World.  Take a tour and see some of the best parade floats on display as well as see the artists create float props and sculptures all year. Try the traditional King Cake and you might just get a plastic baby in your piece! Mardi Gras World offers courtesy shuttle service from the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.