Authors / photo source: Edoardo Maresca/Unsplash.
- Carnival and Mardi Gras: from “farewell to meat” to a loud masquerade.
- Dolls in cakes, cocktails, and mysterious masks: how Mardi Gras is celebrated.
- From Venice to New Orleans: celebrate Mardi Gras at the most grandiose festivals.
Loud parties, noisy parades, colourful masks and outfits — all this is the Mardi Gras holiday, or, as it is also called, Fat Tuesday or Maslenitsa. In 2024 it will take place on February 13th. Although Mardi Gras takes only one Tuesday, it is part of the religious season for the Catholic and occurs on the day before the start of Lent. During Mardi Gras, parades, festivals and balls are held with colourful costumes and tons of delicious food, and both locals and travellers are eager to plunge into this celebration!
Authors / photo source: Thomas Park/Unsplash.
Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, is the culmination of Carnival, a multi-week period of celebrations, that takes place on the day before Ash Wednesday. Carnival (Carnevale) is the Catholic holiday season before the liturgical season of Lent, translated from Italian as “farewell to meat.” The Carnival season officially begins each year on January 6, the Christian holiday of Epiphany, also called Twelfth Night or Three Kings Day, and ends on Fat Tuesday.
The history of the Mardi Gras festival goes back centuries, to pagan rites of seeing off winter and welcoming spring. When Christianity came to Rome, religious leaders incorporated these traditions into the new faith. In the days leading up to Lent, it was customary for followers to consume all fatty foods available in the house, such as meat, eggs, milk, lard and cheese before 40 days of lighter eating and fasting. Since Christians usually do not indulge in excess during Lent, the Carnival season and Mardi Gras have become a time when people give themselves free rein before 40 days of restrictions, enjoying everything that is prohibited during Lent.
Authors / photo source: Chris/Unsplash.
The Maslenitsa festival has European roots, but Mardi Gras is celebrated perhaps most loudly in New Orleans. Here, one of the symbols of the holiday is the king cake. During the carnival season beginning with Epiphany, this dessert appears in bakeries around January 6, Three Kings Day, and is sold until Fat Tuesday. Modern king cakes now contain little plastic babies inside. According to tradition, whoever finds the bobblehead in their slice of cake becomes the "king" of the day and is required to purchase a new king cake for the following year. Also, the Hurricane cocktail, a fruity rum-based drink, was created in New Orleans in the 1940s and has since been considered one of the symbols of Mardi Gras.
At a Mardi Gras party, it is customary to relax your soul, sing, dance and enjoy the festivities, wearing bright costumes and unusual masks. The latter have already become a symbol of the holiday, especially Columbine masks. Why do people wear masks at Mardi Gras? Since ancient times, this has allowed people to hide their identity and communicate with people from different social classes without fear of being recognized. Today, wearing a mask allows people to relax, be someone else for the day, and join in the holiday spirit.
Authors / photo source: Ford Brackin/Pixabay.
Mardi Gras is an official holiday in Louisiana, United States, and is celebrated throughout the state. The loudest parties and parades take place in the French Quarter of New Orleans. What to see during Maslenitsa in New Orleans? During this time, Bourbon street is filled with cheerful people, parades, street parties, and delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine. Mardi Gras is also celebrated in other states, such as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Missouri, New Mexico and California.
Carnival and the Mardi Gras festival are also very popular in Italy, France, Germany, Colombia, Belgium, and Martinique. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil also has a lot to see, with one of the largest carnivals in the world. The Brazilian version of the Mardi Gras festival includes samba dancing, live music, and colorful costumes. Celebrations in Rio last five days and attract millions of visitors each year.
For a more sophisticated Mardi Gras experience, head to Venice. Elaborate masquerade balls are held here in the style of the 18th century. There's a lot to see during Carnival season in Venice, with the streets filled with costumed revelers and elegant parties taking place inside palaces and hotels.
On the Mardi Gras holiday, crowds of mummers organize street parties and parades, which is why getting to the celebration is not so easy — many streets are blocked for transport, and it is difficult to take a taxi quickly and affordably due to the influx of tourists. If you arrive at the airport in the middle of a holiday, the best solution is to book a holiday transfer online in advance. This way you will be sure that you will not have to wait for a car for hours and you will go wherever you need even on a holiday or at night. Book a holiday transfer and celebrate Mardi Gras without the hassle of transportation!
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Petrichenko Rimma & Intui travel