Mardi Gras 2014 is Tuesday, March 4 this year which is only several days away. ARE YOU READY?!
The world loves to celebrate Mardi Gras and it has been celebrated by the world it seems since the Middle Ages. Mardi Gras did actually come from Paris, France and in 1699 French explorer Iberville and his men explored the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico. They set up camp 60 miles south of the present day city of New Orleans. They baptized this spot as Point du Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).
In the late 1700s pre-Lenten balls and grand parties were held in New Orleans. Under French rule the masked balls flourished, but were later banned by the Spanish governors. Over the years the celebration went back and forth and then in 1827 street masking was legalized.
1837 brought the first real documented parade but it was peppered with violence and continued to be violent for the next 20 years. In 1857 the parade and event itself was saved. The event was recreated in beauty and was proven to be a safe, festive celebration.
The King of the Carnival
When the Russian Grand Duke Romanoff visited in 1872, New Orleans and Mardi Gras had the first appearance of Rex. The international symbol of Mardi Gras was established. Rex presented the first organized daytime parade, the colors were chosen (green, gold and purple), the flag was created, and the anthem "If Ever I Cease to Love" was introduced. But what, no women??? Yes in 1896.
For more on the anthem and more information this is a great link to check out: http://ifevericeasetolove.blogspot.com/2013/02/lyrics-to-mardi-gras-classic-song.html