There are many traditions associated with Mardi Gras — and many of them involve delicious food! From piles of pancakes to the famous New Orleans King Cake, there are many delicious ways to “fatten up” this Tuesday to celebrate the start of Lent and the many associated Mardi Gras festivities.
Mardi Gras, celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, marks the last day before Lent, a forty day fasting period to honor the religious aspects of the Easter holiday. This year, Mardi Gras falls on February 28th. The French phrase meaning Fat Tuesday in English was started as a way to get all excessive eating and heavy drinking out of your system before participating in the fast of Lent.
The Mardi Gras tradition has been practiced for hundreds of years, and has led to its reputation as one of the largest partying holidays of the year. Mardi Gras is typically known for drinking excessive amounts of alcohol (which we don’t recommend!), and receiving beads – a sign of good luck. Though that is definitely a large piece of the holiday, there are many other aspects and traditions of Mardi Gras that many people do not know about.
Here are five interesting facts about Mardi Gras that most people overlook.
- Mardi Gras is observed on the last day of the carnival season. Carnival is typically celebrated with a street party where people dress up, wear masks, and come together to honor unity.
- Masks are worn during Mardi Gras to get away from social constraints to honor unity without judgment. It is actually illegal to participate in riding a parade float without a mask.
- The tradition of throwing beads and small trinkets from parade floats dates back almost as long as the parades themselves. Originally the bead colors were gold, purple and green – to represent royalty. Catch the beads being thrown from a float and you are promised good luck for the year.
- Some countries, including OG HQ in Canada, consider Mardi Gras to be “Pancake Day.” It is celebrated by participating in pancake related activities, and of course, eating pancakes. And what goes better with pancakes than a hot cup of coffee?
- Other than pancakes, King Cakes are consumed during the carnival season. They are a pastry-style cake, typically decorated with the colors of purple, green, and gold. Inside every King Cake is a small baby Jesus, and the person who gets the slice of cake with the baby Jesus is said to have good luck for the rest of the year.
If you plan on partying this Mardi Gras, make sure you prepare for the next morning pick-me-up with ORGANO™ Gourmet Black Coffee to give you that extra pep in your step. For those of you who prefer to take it easy, get yourself ORGANO™ King of Coffee to pair with your delicious King Cake this Mardi Gras.