Gras party ideas + Mardi Gras masks + party decor + party favors

How to Celebrate Mardi Gras Like a Local: Best Mardi Gras Ideas

January 02, 2023

What’s up, five-oh-four city! Hear, hear! One of the grandest carnivals is on the horizon. Mardi Gras indeed puts the ‘gras’ in festivity and is set to begin on the 6th of January, right after the new year celebrations. Get ready to pig out, dance, laugh, and get fattened up right down ‘till pre-easter season.

You can’t live in New Orleans and not look forward to the Mardi Gras celebrations. If you need help creating your own Mardi Gras ideas or schedule for a masquerade mask, we’re here for you!

What Is Mardi Gras, and How Did It Originate?

Also known as Fat Tuesday or shrove, Mardi Gras is a celebration that began in the 1700s and was probably a gathering of heightened debauchery and drunkenness. But before it became a hedonistic affair, it was a holiday with catholic roots, a preparation for the Lenten fasting season. But since it deteriorated into a somewhat lascivious affair, It was even canceled or banned a couple of times until a secret society changed the narrative, and Mardi Gras events became more civil.

The secret society that changed things up is known as the Mistick Krewe of Comus. They held balls and parades in the streets, working with different themes and giving gifts to passersby in the streets.

Now, there are so many krewes that take part in the festivities.

Simple Facts You Should Know About Mardi Gras 

  • Mardi Gras is local to New Orleans, though it is celebrated in other parts of the world.
  • A typical Mardi Gras party has king cake, masquerade masks, and plenty of fun activities.
  • The celebration is actually a preparation for the Lenten season, when every fat is thrown out of the home in honor of the Easter fast. The holiday and accompanying celebrations last more than a month, beginning on the 6th day of January and ending the day before the 40-day pre-easter fast begins (Lent).
  • Mardi Gras is transliterated to “fat Tuesday” because Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday.
  • The first day (January 6th) is called King’s day.
  • The king or queen of each krewe throws gifts to people on the street during parades. These are called “throws”. They’re usually beads and other little gift items.

How To Enjoy Mardi Gras - Use these Mardi Gras Ideas 

First off, don’t pause your celebrations this holiday season. Hold on to the new year cheer and glee ‘till the 6th. As long as your heart is still festive, the other activities will add to the fun. So, here’s what to do for Mardi Gras.

Join One of the Krewes

The best way to have a fun Mardi Gras is to join a krewe. Krewes oversee the planning and organizing of the parades and balls. They get to choose the decorations and Mardi Gras activities that would take place on the different carnival days.

Whether it’s a krewe that hosts floating parades or one that marches in the streets, being a part of the inner circle will give you a chance to experience the fullness of the celebrations. Basically, let the good times roll.

Get Some of That King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

King cake is a Mardi Gras tradition that has been around for the longest time, since Fat Tuesday is a time for stuffing your mouth with all sorts of food. Who knows? You might find the little baby figurine inside, which means you get to host the next party. If you’re not eating king day, you’re wrong.

Wear Mardi Gras Colors 

Gras theme party + Mardi Gras king + Gras party food + bread pudding + Mardi Gras beads

The Mardi Gras colors are purple, green, and gold. They’re referred to as the royal colors of Mardi Gras. Gold symbolizes power, purple symbolizes justice and royalty, and green stands for faith. And although not everyone who celebrates Fat Tuesday has Christian faith, those colors have deep meanings that resonate with everyone.

Throughout the carnival, you can play around with these colors, whether with your clothes, make-up, hair, or food. Nobody says you should become a mascot throughout the holiday (that would be utterly ridiculous). But on those days, when you decide to turn up, show some solidarity. C’est tres Magnifique or whatever is French for ‘it would be nice’.

Drink Responsibly

Mindfulness is key! You don’t want to miss out on the color and general splendor of the different parades. Best to stay awake or at least sober by limiting your indulgence in booze. You’ll have stories to tell and pleasant memories if you don’t spend every day high as a kite. Ignore those who might try to convince you that being drunk will intensify the experience. Stay woke, literally.

Invite Friends and Family

Anything worth enjoying can be enjoyed with family and friends. While pouring out your gratitude for the past year and anticipating the new year's blessings, take a loved one or two along. Dance, parade, eat cake and play dress up with them. Since you’ll be going into the fasting season (unless you’re not a Catholic), it’s a good time to bond more with loved ones. So go right ahead and plan your Mardi Gras schedule.

Things Every New Orleanian Does During Mardi Gras

Wear Masks

Mardi Gras Masks

Nobody wears masks in New Orleans except on Mardi Gras! Odd, quaint, and cute tradition. Masks are one of the Mardi Gras ideas that sprung up from the earlier parades and carnivals. Then, people wore masks to allow everybody to mingle together without discrimination. Krewe members also used it to protect the identity of their king or queen. So, grab your mask and get the good times rolling.

Put up Mardi Gras Decorations

Just as Christmas decor goes up everywhere during Christmas, Mardi Gras decor also comes out. You’ll see a lot of purple, gold, and green stuff in the trees, doors, and on people. The colors do not necessarily have to be traditional colors. But it’ll be clear to a blind man that something’s afloat in the area. So, feel free to try your DIY Mardi Gras decorations. Put out a centerpiece to hold a delicious king cake (shhh… Don’t forget to hide the mini king in it).

Attend Parades and Marches 

Mardi Gras food + Gras costume + temps rouler + king cakes + red beans

What’s a gras carnival without a parade? What is New Orleans during Mardi Gras events without festive marches? And how can you celebrate like a local if you’re home or at work throughout the celebration? Show that you have NOLA blood in you by turning up on the floats or in the streets. It’s up to you!

Explore the Numerous Activities

There are tons of things to do with friends, from raiding the photo booth to having Mardi Gras trivia. Even if you’re as busy as a bee after the new year holiday, you can surely find time to sit over drinks with friends and enjoy some gras desserts.

If you’d like to organize something more relaxing for your old folks, how about a good old Mardi Gras bingo? They could also enjoy regular party games and eat gras food. If you don’t mind, you could whip out a jester hat to add some color to their gathering.

If your friends are up for some adventure, y’all could organize a fun scavenger hunt!

A small Mardi Gras-themed party is always a fun and civil way to spend time with your loved ones, regardless of how occupied you may be.

What to Wear for Mardi Gras 

Nola King Cake T-Shirt

Now that you’re well acquainted with this term (you must have heard it a million times), it’s time to look into your wardrobe options for the events. Before you go fast and furious on all your Mardi Gras ideas, think about how you want to look.

While many people will do the conventional thing—show up in costumes and masks, all in gras colors, why not show them how to be cool and still rock the party harder than a DJ? If you’re not joining a krewe, even better!

If nobody says it, we’ll say it - we have the coolest high-quality t-shirts, tank tops, and hoodies for every and any Mardi Gras party you have on your schedule.

Nola Things Tank Top

From classic NOLA tees to five-oh-four tanks. These shirts show that you’re here for the fun, but you’re also proud of your city, Mardi Gras or not.

What about a sweet Nola Things tee with a mask, food, and costumes on it? Best part? You can have it in purple or green! So, you’re the champ of fun cheer in and out of season.


Nola King Cake Tank

If you’re a foodie, there are tank tops and shirts with Mardi Gras recipes in cartoons. We also have shirts with king cake inscribed on it! The yummy gras dessert is colorful and symbolic. With a shirt like that, you can show your solidarity and still feel comfortable in your jeans. How sweet is that?

From Halloween to Christmas and new year, now Mardi Gras. There’s so much cheer this time of the year. Celebrate like a true local this time around. Show the five-oh-four folks that you know how to party, too. Get your shirts now and have fun while being comfortable.


New Orleans T-Shirts

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