Mardi Gras; How It All Started
A holiday recognized and celebrated amongst many, the Mardi Gras tradition dates back thousands of years. Although in the U.S. it is highly associated with the yearly festivities that take place in New Orleans, Mardi Gras and its religious history originated in Europe. The holiday was first introduced when Christianity arrived in Rome, and it was celebrated during the days leading up to what is known to Christians as Lent; a time that consists of 40 days of fasting and giving up foods such as meat.
The French phrase Mardi Gras translates to "Fat Tuesday"; and as the name suggests, Mardi Gras is a period in which food is consumed in abundance. These traditions were brought to other parts of Europe as time passed and were implemented heavily in countries such as France. Mardi Gras was first introduced to America in the year of 1699 by two French-Canadian explorers, Pierre Le Moyne D'lberville and Sieur de Bienville, who settled near what is now known as the city of New Orleans in Louisiana. In light of the holiday, they named the territory where they had arrived "Point du Mardi Gras". From then on, street celebrations and masquerade balls were held all throughout and became very popular as the years passed.
The city of New Orleans was established in 1718. Although a lot agree that the first "real" Mardi Gras celebration was help in 1699 when the French first arrived, many argue that it was not until the year of 1827 that the first New Orleans Mardi Gras parade occurred when a group of soldiers who had visited Paris decided to dance down the streets of New Orleans in costumes, depicting what they had seen while visiting France. Regardless of the fact, the Mardi Gras parade is still one of the biggest parades help in the United States.
Although Mardi Gras was originally celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, it has now evolved into a week-long celebration; which here at La Fermière we love to celebrate by creating DIYs and indulging in our delicious French yogurt!