A Bunch Of Mask-Wearing, Dressed Up Students Started The Mardi Gras Tradition

RealClear Contributor


On Feb. 27, 1827, a group of students put on masks and costumes to dance through the city streets of New Orleans. Today, that celebration is known as Mardi Gras.

Early History

Mardi Gras was banned in New Orleans, and all of Louisiana, as early as the 17th century. The ban on wearing masks was lifted in the city in 1803, but no one really did it in a large group until one night in 1827. That's when a group of young students put on elaborate costumes and celebrated their own Mardi Gras in the middle of the street. They were inspired by the Mardi Gras parties being held in Paris, and wanted to have their own celebration. 

Making Mardi Gras

The celebration was not the first-ever Mardi Gras event in the U.S. and it wasn't the first Mardi Gras in Louisiana, but it was probably the first large Mardi Gras gathering ever to be held in the city of New Orleans. Today, the city is synonymous with this famous day of partying. 

On average, 300,000 to 400,000 people attend Mardi Gras annually. Have you ever been to the celebration? Share this story!



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