On Celebrating Mardi Gras Outside Of New Orleans

by Kiersten Hickman
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Since Mardi Gras is a holiday that was originally celebrated in medieval Europe, yes, you really can celebrate Mardi Gras anywhere. But the thing that trips people up about Mardi Gras is the fact that in Louisiana, Mardi Gras is an actual holiday that people take off work. So if other states don’t have Mardi Gras as an official holiday, then can you celebrate Mardi Gras if you're not in New Orleans?

Let’s take a look back to the history of Mardi Gras. Did you know that Mardi Gras wasn’t first celebrated in the United States in New Orleans? That’s right! The first recorded Mardi Gras celebration actually took place in Mobile, Alabama. Even though New Orleans feels like the Mardi Gras capital of the world, Mobile actually has a huge celebration that lasts a few weeks.They have tons of parades that take routes throughout different parts of the city, all celebrating the unique heritage of Mobile and their ties to the Mardi Gras season.

So if Mobile is celebrating, then you know other cities are celebrating. Not only in the United States, but around the world. Some of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations happen in San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, the Caribbean, Venice, St. Louis, Sydney, and even Dallas.

The reason Mardi Gras is widely celebrated has nothing to do with eating tons of King Cake, throwing beads, and drinking all of your favorite cocktails. Mardi Gras is formally known as Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday and the Lent season. The season of Mardi Gras actually begins with Epiphany, which is on January 6, otherwise known as Three Kings Day or the Twelfth Day of Christmas. Throughout the season people celebrate, people feast, and people drink. The reason it’s so heightened on Fat Tuesday is, well, it’s the day before Lent. And who doesn’t indulge before a long fast of that sort?

So although you aren’t in Louisiana, or maybe you aren’t a Christian and you don’t partake in the Lent Season, there’s no reason you shouldn’t throw a party of your own and enjoy the company of those you love with lots of food, lots of booze, and lots of dancing. Here's a list of tips on how to celebrate Mardi Gras no matter where you are!

Images: Getty Images; GIPHY