Maybe you can’t dance down Bourbon Street or cheer on the Krewe de Rex, but you can certainly celebrate Mardi Gras in style!
Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday, is the Southeastern American rendition of the international Carnivale celebration. The first American Mardi Gras was celebrated on February 4th, 1857 as a farewell to all the indulgences traditionally given up for Lent. There’s no finer Mardi Gras than the packed streets of New Orleans, but if you can’t travel this March, here are a few tips to keep your Mardi Gras celebrations imbued with the spirit of the season.
Start your celebration with a festive Paperless Post invitation. Invite your guests to an extravagant Mardi Gras party and remember: don’t forget the Purple, Green and Gold! Have Masquerade masks and beads prepared for your guests’ arrival for a real Mardi Gras feel. Try some of our Mardi Gras favorites for your party invitations:
The music of this city is as extravagant and colorful as the people and celebrations themselves. Invite your guests to dance to Cajun, upbeat Jazz, or Carribean music! The “Mardi Gras Mambo” is famously known and blasted from dozens of parade floats each year. The upbeat rhythm is sure to get your guests up and swinging!
Now, for the most important components of your Mardi Gras party: food and drink! Big Easy drinks are a favorite indulgence of Fat Tuesday attendees. Sangria, a wine and fruit beverage, and Sazerac, a unique whiskey based drink, are sure to complement your party nicely. Cajun cuisine is a beautiful mix of French and Southern American styles. Serve étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya for a genuine Cajun shindig. The highlight of these foods and beverages is their simplicity in preparation, but complexity of flavor!
As a final touch to your Mardi Gras party, include the centerpiece of indulgence: King Cake! Filled with cream cheese or praline, deep fried, iced, and then topped with Purple, Green, and Gold sugar, this is a delicacy intended for royalty. Traditionally a bean or pea is inserted into the cake prior to baking and those who find one are crowned King and Queen of the day! In America, the bean and pea are substituted by a small plastic baby, representing the religious nature of the holiday. After spending the evening as a royal guest, the King and Queen are obligated to host the next Mardi Gras party or provide the King Cake.
Whether you arrive in scarves and mittens in Chicago or a sequined dress in California, Mardi Gras is a wonderful way to bring your friends and family together for a night of extravagance and excitement!
Laissez le bon temps rouler!