Now that Mardi Gras is officially over, and we’ve all had time to recover from our lack of sleep, our hangovers, and clean up all the beads, I’ve finally had the time and energy to sort through all the photos that I took. It’s such a magical and grossly inconvenient time of year :: trying to get through your normal routine is difficult, if not impossible, at some points (note to self :: just ride your bike next year, dummy), but when you can jump in and enjoy the festivities it’s just the best thing ever.
If someone were to take Burning Man, plop it down into a city that’s already fairly oddball on its own, you’d have Mardi Gras.
Brought to Louisiana by French settlers, Mardi Gras is a preparation for the Catholic season of Lent. The first parade occurred in the mid-1800s, but the first record of the holiday dates back to 1699! Carnival season starts off in January, on Twelfth Night, and runs until the day before Ash Wednesday. Today’s Krewes, the groups that organize the parades and events, were originally rooted in social clubs and secret societies!
Does your city have any weird traditional events?
I found a big, beautiful vintage ball gown to wear on Fat Tuesday, and somehow, I made it through the entire day with it. I totally and completely forgot to take any full length photos of it while we were rushing out the door to get downtown – we were on the bus just past 8AM so we didn’t miss out on anything!
If you’re on the new iPhone app Vine, you can watch videos of my dress, and all of the parade videos that I posted! You can find me on there as Sam Smith. I’ve also posted tons more photos onto a set on Flickr!
Best float ever?
Earlier, when I said that this time of year can be very inconvenient, I want you to fully realize that the majority of these photos were taken right outside my house. For nearly a week straight, there were massive parades lined up and rolling out in my driveway. There are marching bands going past my window at 7AM, floats rolling by my front yard, and people in crazy costumes wandering around.
I’m not really sure where the boob-baring for beads came from, because it’s totally, 100% not true. The Krewes on the floats will throw things at you no matter what! Things will be flying at you relentlessly from every possible angle! I think some Girls Gone Wild on Bourbon St gave the rest of the revelers a bad rap.
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