Mardi Gras refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is known as Shrove Tuesday. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual Lenten sacrifices and fasting of the Lenten season.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a one to three month stretch of the year in which the streets come alive with music, art, and costumed revelers. Beginning on Twelfth Night, January 6, the best season of the year is upon us: king cake, bead-tossing, and parading begins and only increases as we make our way toward Mardi Gras Day. This year the season is a long one, with Mardi Gras Day on March 1, 2022.
There’s so much to celebrate during Carnival season, where locals rule and visitors are more than welcome to join in on the fun. On the weekends leading up to Fat Tuesday, parades roll all over town. Spectators gasp at the colossal Endymion floats and delight in the political satire of Krewe du Vieux.
There’s something to do during every week of the Mardi Gras season.
Whether it’s new traditions like Krewe of Chewbacchus (with its Star Wars-inspired tomfoolery) or decades-old stalwarts Zulu and Rex (which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year), visitors are encouraged to explore our Mardi Gras traditions.
Some of our favorite ways to do this? Try ten different slices of king cake, stand in awe of community walking krewes, and make new friendships with your neighbors on the route. This is the place to have the authentic Mardi Gras experience.