Are You Sure You Know About the Krewe?

Laissez les bon temps rouler mesdames et messieurs! That’s the formal greeting during Mardi Gras. It means “let the good times roll” and you usually end up doing just that. Here in the south, usually, Mardi Gras means partying, drinking, and eating until your heart is content, and to an extent that is exactly what the holiday is meant to be. However, have you ever wondered how it all came to be? It all started when the French first settled in Louisiana.

Mardi Gras originated in the 17th century from medieval Europe as a pagan tradition which slowly turned into a Christian holiday. To put in simple terms, the purpose of Mardi Gras is to have a last hurrah before Lent. If you are not a religious person or haven’t heard of Lent before, it consists of forty days of fasting and praying. I don’t blame them for creating Fat Tuesday, talk about commitment and devotion, right? 

In 1704, a secret society was established to take charge of the masquerade balls and parades. They are known as krewes. Within each krewe, there are different groups that each represent their culture. Krewe members are not only exclusive but also anonymous. You would have to be an elite individual to be invited to go to an authentic masquerade ball. In the name of all things Mardi Gras, they are indeed the most important factor of the celebration.

Inside each of the krewes, there is a king known as “The King of the Carnival.” In 1872, the king declared that the balconies and streets be decorated with the colors purple, yellow, and green. It’s kind of funny because at first, no one understood why he chose those colors. The founders theorize that the king chose three colors because a country’s flag is adorned with three colors, so his kingdom would be decorated as well. The color purple means justice, green means faith, and gold means power. He was emanating some extreme king vibes. 

Certainly, all great things start off small. Although with this holiday, its roots are mysterious and interesting. On one side there’s partying, catching beads, watching marching bands in parades. On the other side, there’s a secret anonymous society running the whole thing. This is definitely a “don't ask questions, just party” type of celebration. If you are interested in learning more about the traditions and where they come from, the link below is very informative.

https://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/history/traditions/