Mardi Gras is on February 13, 2018
For those of you not familiar with the origins of Mardi Gras, here’s a bit of history… The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of “Boeuf Gras,” or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies.
On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans, and named it “Pointe du Mardi Gras” when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday. Bienville also established “Fort Louis de la Louisiane” (which is now Mobile) in 1702. In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America’s very first Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras translates to “Fat Tuesday”, or the Tuesday before Lent. The traditional colors of the New Orleans Mardi Gras are purple (for justice), green (for faith), and gold (for power). All three colors were used by the Catholic Church throughout history and thus continued to be used in relation to Mardi Gras which was Catholic in origin.
Mardi Gras is a feast of color for the eyes and food for the soul. The holiday includes outrageous costumes and masks, beads and feathers. No matter to what to degree to you follow the traditions of this colorful holiday, your party should be an event to remember. This theme blends well with a Masquerade or Costume party.
Beads, coins, feathers, and masks are all part of the pageantry. Today, plastic beads and chocolate coins are common party favors for this theme. Common fare includes, muffulettas, red beans and rice, jambalaya, shrimp and grits, gumbo, beignets, and – of course – king cake. You can find a few of these recipes on our Mardi Gras Recipe page.
The “traditional” King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, covered by poured sugar and sprinkled with purple, green and gold colored sugar. Each cake holds one baby. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the baby will have good luck all year. There are many additional varieties of King Cake available by adding cream cheese, or other fillings to the “traditional” King Cake. You can download our recipe by clicking below. Also check out our punch recipe and game download.