Mardi Gras is just around the corner!

Mardi Gras is just around the corner! The festivities are already underway in New Orleans, having begun on 12th Night (12 days after Christmas on January 6th) and culminating on Fat Tuesday, the day right before Ash Wednesday kicks off the penitant season of Lent before Easter. This year, Fat Tuesday falls on February 24th, 2009.

A highly symbolic affair, Mardi Gras is the ultimate festival of indulgence with good food and elaborate costumes and floats before the solemn season of Lent rears its head. The parade floats and costumes are done up in traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, gold, and purple which represent the virtues of faith, power, and justice, respectively. Beads are thrown at revelers, sometimes with just innocent intents and others, to encourage their recipients to flash the goods!

The elaborate parade floats are presented by Krewes, or walking groups that plan themed floats and pageantry for an entire year leading up to the celebration. Each krewe has their own social structure similar to that of royalty with Kings, Queens, Dukes, Duchesses, etc. All attend the parade in full regalia, specifically wearing a mask, typically a heavily decorated domino style.

Although the most famous of Mardi Gras celebrations take place in New Orleans and Rio de Janiero in Brazil, you can bring the celebration to your own city with some traditional Fat Tuesday staples like Mardi Gras beads and ornate sequinned and feathered Mardi Gras masks!

Check out the Costumzee forums for a tasty and (Big) easy recipe for King Cake. While you’re at it in the forums, share some of your own favorite Mardi Gras or cajun recipes with fellow Costumzee forum-ites!

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