The history behind Mardi Gras: Makayla Goss


Makayla Goss, Staff Writer

This year at Alliance High School the theme for homecoming was Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is a celebration that takes place in New Orleans on March 1.  The first American Mardi Gras celebration took place in 1702, two years after French- Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Beinville settled a plot of land about 60 miles from New Orleans.  He named his plot of land Pointe du Mardi Gras.

 In 1704, there was a secret society called Masque de la Mobile; which would last until 1711 when a new society came to be, called Boeuf Gras Society. Masque De La Mobile would last until Boeul Gras came to be the new society in 1711. 

In the 1730s, New Orleans had Mardi Gras, but not like it is currently they would have elegant masquerade balls which we used as a guide for the Mardi Gras today.  The earliest known date of an actual Mardi Gras festival was 1781 when a Spanish Colonial reported seeing hundreds of clubs and carnival organizations going to New Orleans. By the late 1800s, there were maskers who lit the way for the Krewe’s members. Krewe are the members who worked on parade floats. This was the closest event to Mardi Gras of today.  

The celebration is when a parade goes through the town and the people cheer. Then, everyone goes and eats a plethora of food and drinks. There were many alcoholic beverages available during the celebration.. The name Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, which leads up to Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. Lent is the season for fasting; so everyone on Mardi Gras would eat as much as they could before Lent. Lent is a Chistrian celebration period from Ash Wednesday on for 40 days where they fast everyday of the week besides Sunday. Present Day, we just celebrate it with dinner and a party. The next Mardi Gras is on March first, 2022. 

That is how Mardi Gras came to be, how it changed, and how it is today. If you ever go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras don’t forget your mask, and appetite.