Let the Good Times Roll
Trinity Taylor Staff Reporter
Trinity Taylor Staff Reporter

      The Mardi Gras festivities have come and gone here in Mobile and they were definitely something to be a part of. There were  balls, parades, and floats with beads and moonpies flying everywhere. Everyone knows of the fun and excitement that comes with this holiday; however, many are unaware of its true origin.

       Mardi Gras is believed to have arrived in North America on the third of March in 1699, which happens to be when the French explorers and brothers Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and  Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville camped sixty miles downriver from the future site of New Orleans. Because Mardi Gras, meaning “Fat Tuesday” in French,  was currently being celebrated in France, Iberville named the area Point du Mardi Gras and in honor of the holiday held a small gala.  It is believed to be the oldest annual Carnival celebration in the United States, officially started by Frenchman Nicholas Langlois in 1703, when Mobile was the capital of  the French-Louisiana Territory- fifteen years before the founding of New Orleans.

    Currently,  Mardi Gras in Mobile has evolved into a mainstream multi-week celebration involving both formal masked balls with elegant costumes and public parades where gifts (known as throws) are thrown to eager crowds. Today, Mardi Gras is a well-known annual Carnival-like holiday,  incorporating many cultural aspects and traditions, celebrated worldwide. Who could have imagined that such a simple party would turn into an international holiday?


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