What are the Origins of Mardi Gras?

As many of you know, Mardi Gras – or Carnival as it’s commonly called around the world - is going on now! Mardi Gras is synonymous with New Orleans, king cake and, of course, beads, doubloons and other “throws”. But how did it begin? What’s it about?

 

Razzoo’s Cajun Café – your favorite Cajun food restaurant – has the scoop for you. Impress your friends with your Mardi Gras knowledge!

 

So what exactly is Mardi Gras?

 

In a nutshell, it’s one big party! It begins the day after Epiphany (Jan. 6) and then lasts until Fat Tuesday (which is Feb. 9 this year). It’s a month long celebration of parades, parties, balls – depending on where you live – with the bulk of the festivities happening the week leading up to Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras literally means “Fat Tuesday” in French, but the term is used loosely to describe all festivities leading up to Ash Wednesday.

 

Where did it begin?

 

Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years, dating back to a time of pagan celebrations of spring and fertility. It is believed to have begun in Rome and Greece, where Christianity was spreading. Newly converted Christians wanted to carry on their pagan celebrations, so the early church incorporated them into their customs. Mardi Gras became a time of fun and excess before the somber time of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday.

 

Who celebrates Mardi Gras?

 

Whether you’re a full blood Cajun – or just a Cajun at heart – this party’s for you! Mardi Gras – or Carnival – is celebrated all over the world. As colonists from Europe spread throughout the New World, so did the Mardi Gras traditions. Annual celebrations take place all over the world, with the most notable being in New Orleans, Venice, and Brazil.

 

Want in on the Mardi Gras fun but can’t make it to New Orleans? Razzoo’s Cajun Café is your Mardi Gras headquarters in Texas. Stay tuned for info on a week’s worth of food specials, drink specials and more starting on Feb. 1.