Mardi Gras in Louisiana Actually Started in… Europe?
History of Mardi Gras in Louisiana
Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a carnival celebration that actually originates back to Medieval Europe, and was brought to Louisiana by, (no surprise) French settlers in the early 1700's. The first recorded Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana took place in 1703 in the city of Mobile, now part of Alabama. According to nps.gov,
The Old Mobile Site is the archeological remains of the first permanent French colonial settlement and the earliest European town on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Also known by the name of the settlement's fort, Fort Louis de la Louisiane, it was the first colonial capital of French Louisiana. The site is situated on the Mobile River, along what is now known as Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff.
The festival later spread to New Orleans, where is has become a major cultural and tourist event.
The First Mardi Gras in Shreveport
The first Mardi Gras celebration in Shreveport dates back to 1874, which included a parade, a monkey, and a highly decorated, 1800 pound bovine.
Mardi Gras in Louisiana is known for its vibrant street parties, colorful parades, and elaborate costumes. The celebrations typically begin on the Feast of Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, and culminate on Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday.
While Mardi Gras is known for its festive atmosphere and colorful celebrations, it's also rooted in a rich cultural and historical tradition. It is a celebration of community, freedom, and creativity, and continues to play a vial role in the cultural identity of Louisiana.