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Carnival Mardi Gras in New Orleans


Mardi Gras is famous Shrovetide carnival in New Orleans, Louisiana. The celebration begins on the 6th of January and is slowly gaining momentum, reaching its culmination in the day of Fat Tuesday. For those who do not know – it is translated from the French the name of the festival – Mardi Gras.

For New Orleans residents and tourists, who arrive in abundance in the city to enjoy the extravagant spectacle of the winter holiday, Mardi Gras is the numerous parades, processions with jazz bands, balls and contests that take place simultaneously in different places. Don’t want to get lost in all this diversity? Want to see the most interesting, the most important thing, the most beautiful? We will help tip.

So, if you decided to become a guest of the carnival (even in dreams). In this case, you should definitely visit several parades that are organized special carnival clubs – “krews”. “Krews” often called the parades in honor of mythological characters or gods (the most famous and large-scale is a hilarious name of Bacchus). The structure of the “krew” is a parody of monarchical device – there are King, Queen, Dukes, Knights and Captains. Become a member of such an organization is quite difficult; it requires a formal invitation.

The parades look very colorful: the street smart moves procession and its participants are thrown into the exultant crowd various Souvenirs: a string of beads, cups, stuffed animals and “doubloons” (small medallions of aluminum, on one side depicting the symbol of the parade and on the other the emblem of the “krew”). All these trifles often become collector’s items, especially the doubloons. By the way, if the doubloons thrown by someone from the tuple will land next to you – do not rush to pull your hand to him. In fact, experienced people, eager to catch a memorable thing, have a habit of quickly stepping on the fallen doubloon leg to make him his right. Don’t want to step on the hands – you do the same. Especially advise you to fear a harmless species of old ladies on high heels.

Be sure to visit the Bacchus parade, which takes place on Sunday night before Fat Tuesday on St. Charles Avenue ( St. Charles Avenue), near Napoleon Avenue ( Napoleon Avenue). And don’t be late! A “score” in advance, but it needs to be there at 6am! Given that the parade itself starts at 6pm, you will have to thoroughly prepare: stock up on food, and sometimes warm blankets to keep warm. And if you are closer to the evening I see empty seats – do not be fooled. In fact, they have not free, as many took places for friends and family members who come later.

Interesting and so-called Indian parade where white tourists rarely go, because the date and venue of the parade is constantly changing. And let the name of the parade – Mardi Gras Indians – don’t be fooled: actually, most of the “Indians” were blacks, whose gowns are lavishly decorated with feathers, beads and colored rhinestones. Well, and what has here the Indians? you ask. The fact that the name is a tribute of gratitude Redskins who helped blacks during slavery. Earlier Indian parade was an event with a dubious reputation as “Indians”, who belonged to rival groups, often used carnival turmoil for their “showdown”. Now it’s a friendly confrontation at the level of the costumes: the leaders of the “tribes” are trying to suppress fellow rivals the splendor and brightness of carnival headdress. No wonder! It would be a shame to pull in a fight outfit, costing a few thousand dollars, especially when it invested so much hard work and imagination.

If you decide to go to the parade, but you do not have carnival costume, we recommend you at least wear something purple, or green, or gold. Each element of the triad has its symbolic carnival value: gold stands for power, green for faith, purple for justice. These colors officially symbolize the Mardi Gras festival in over a hundred years.

The new Orleans carnival is also famous for its balls, which give “ krews”. Some of the points to receive an invitation, it is extremely difficult (to buy a ticket to an elite event and not even a pretty high-ranking officials sometimes “fly”). Invitation cards are true works of art of printing, and is also hunted by collectors.

Need to book a hotel in September, or even earlier. If you do this, say, in the beginning of winter, you will have to spend many hours phoning hotels in search of a vacant room. And another thing: many people mistakenly believe that the main processions are held through the French quarter, so the prices for rooms in this area is fantastic (or carnival!). Keep in mind: in other streets of New Orleans (where a lot is happening) the premises are cheaper.

In addition, you should not stay outside the city, even if you have a car, because during the carnival movement around the centre on any transport (including public) is problematic because of traffic jams and police “barricades”. Taxis in this period is almost impossible to find (as well as a Parking place).

And please don’t annoy the cops! They were at this time much overlooked. What can you do – the carnival!