Mardi Gras: So Much More Than A Celebration

Earlier this month, I experienced my first Mardi Gras. This carnival-like celebration dates all the way back to the year 1699. Leading up to this festive occasion I was very curious, not knowing what to expect. How crowded will New Orleans be? How will I keep up with all of the celebrating? What outfits do I wear? After hearing from friends and family about their own experiences from Mardi Gras, I knew it was definitely a special time to look forward to. My dad has told me about his own experiences and memories from Mardi Gras when he was a college student and visited a friend at Tulane almost 30 years ago. It was finally my time to celebrate as a Tulane freshman making my own memories that I’ll always look back on.

There are generally no classes during the week of Mardi Gras to allow the students to celebrate. My roommate and I woke up at 10 am every morning to start our makeup and to choose outfits, with music and dancing in between of course. After getting ready in our dorm rooms, my friends and I met outside to take pictures together and to plan out our long and busy days. I looked around campus and saw so many other students also dressed up in such funky outfits with smiles on all their faces. It is such a happy and amazing time for everyone and truly makes us all feel like we are one big happy family here at Tulane.

Mardi Gras is so much more than just the outfits you wear, the pictures you take, and the parties you attend. It is the history and tradition of this holiday that make it so special. The New Orleans community, as well as the community of Tulane University, reunites during this festive time to celebrate their city and its amazing culture. There are thousands of beaded necklaces, amazing styles and colors, seen throughout the streets, in restaurants, and even on campus. There are also so many different parades each year which are such a big part of Mardi Gras. Some of the more popular ones that were recommended by teachers and friends were “Krewe du Vieux,” “Krewe of Muses,” and “Krewe of Hermes.” Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see a parade this year because it was such a hectic time, but after seeing videos and hearing so many great stories, my friends and I will definitely not miss them next year!

My first Mardi Gras was such an incredible, memorable experience and I’m looking forward to 3 more years of celebrating this amazing tradition!