I have no costume to wear, and no beads or doubloons to catch. I will not be there to stand on a ladder with a seat for children watching the truck parades, waving as Rex goes by, or yelling “throw me something mister!” as the floats pass by. I will not be there to marvel over the ensembles created by the Mardi Gras Indians. But, earlier in the Carnival season I did have some king cake that I shared with my colleagues, and I do have the opportunity to use a photo taken in the French Quarter by my father some time in the early 1970’s.
Since I did a more business-oriented post last year for Mardi Gras, I thought this year I would provide further information for those who get a little confused about the words and concepts swirling around Carnival and Mardi Gras. The most common guide is by Arthur Hardy who has been publishing the Mardi Gras in New Orleans : an Illustrated History for many years. If you are looking for something more historical, the Hand Book of the Carnival, Containing Mardi-Gras, its Ancient and Modern Observance was published in 1874 and has been digitized by the Library and is available on the Internet Archive.
Happy Mardi Gras!