Louisiana comes alive in February with a variety of events. Most of the events focus around Mardi Gras as that is one of the greatest February attractions in Louisiana. There are various events held throughout the two weekends and week prior to Fat Tuesday parades. A unique event takes place in Breaux Bridge every year is the Bayou Boudin & Cracklin’ Festival. This event is held at the Carencro Fairgrounds near Lafayette every February. Here you will have the opportunity to try authentic Cajun delicacies.
The biggest event in February is the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Every year the event hosts huge parades featuring celebrities and many masked Krewes. The parades are breath taking with floats and thousands of sculptured props. There are several scheduled parades that take place at various times. Many are in the evening but there are a few during the day as well. There are also several simultaneous parades that occur as well. There are twelve days of parades in the month of February. The parades are the most common because the Krewes are dressed in their costumes and throwing beads and coconuts.
Lafayette holds the Le Festival de Mari Gras. This celebration is considered to be more kid friendly and safe, as Bourbon Street and the French Quarter can get really crazy and is not a place for the kids to go. This is the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana. Lafayette offers several parades and events that are more family oriented including rides and games on the carnival midway and live bands. They also hold a costume contest. The balls of Mardi Gras are also popular events and the Krewe of Triton open their ball to the public, while the large New Orleans balls are invite only.
The Corir de Mari Gras is a traditional rural celebration. This event is based on the medieval tradition of ceremonial begging. Large groups of masked and costumed horseback riders roam the country to gather ingredients for the community gumbo. A caped captain leads the riders from house to house and they dance and sing for ingredient donations. The day ends with a dance and lots of gumbo. Many of the small towns and villages in rural Louisiana participate in this type of event.
The origins of Mardi Gras is found in the Roman tradition of Carnival. It is the season between Christmas and Lent when the Romans would indulge on food and drink more than usual in preparation for fasting, which would come with Lent. Mardi Gras is held on Fat Tuesday and is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the last day to overindulge and then you must sacrifice something during Lent. The day of Ash Wednesday fluctuates with the date of Easter.
Rob Vrabel is the co-founder of tennessee.2havefun.com, the largest directory of fun things to do in Tennessee. Visit this great directory at tennessee.2havefun.com.