Since the first week in January, parades have been swelling in the streets, while gleaming gold, green, and purple balls dangle from trees. Fences are striped with beads from Carnivals past, and wreaths shaped like King Cakes (the revered sweet breads that make a cameo this time of year), dot the doors of homes.
Mardi Gras celebrations are serious business in the Big Easy. But what sometimes gets lost amongst the glittering beads and drunken revelry is that historically, Carnival is areligious holiday.
While it’s celebrated in many places with large Roman Catholic populations, including Brazil and Venice, NOLA’s Mardi Gras festivities are arguably the most wild. If you’re headed south to celebrate before the penitent season of Lent begins, it’s worth doing Mardi Gras right. We’ve asked locals who love the merrymaking how to make the most of your Mardi Gras experience.