The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

Mardi Gras: Celebrating The Pre-Lenten Season

A store selling Mardi Gras themed attire.

Mardi Gras, French for “fat Tuesday,” is the celebration before Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is celebrated to anticipate the beginning of Lent, a time of fasting and repentance preparing for the resurrection of Jesus. 

Mardi Gras originated on March 2, 1699 when French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste arrived south of New Orleans on a point of land he named “Pointe Du Mardi Gras”. Being so close to New Orleans, Louisiana became the hometown of Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras is meant to be a huge celebration. To achieve this, New Orleans is filled with music, parades, floats, and food. 

The city of New Orleans is decorated for Mardi Gras, usually using beads. Every year many artists come together to create symbols of Mardi Gras with beads all over the city. They use traditional colors and sometimes even glow-in-the-dark beads.

Many people dress up in costumes and feathers with colors of purple, green, and gold. Purple is used to represent justice, green to represent faith, and gold to represent power. 

Another way people celebrate is through food. The most popular dessert for Mardi Gras is the king cake, a circular cake decorated with purple, green, and gold frosting and sprinkles. 

A small plastic baby is put into every king cake. It is supposedly good luck to get the piece of cake with the baby in it. The person who gets the baby in their slice is supposed to bring the king cake in the following year.

People everywhere can celebrate Mardi Gras. People outside of New Orleans can celebrate by dressing up in the traditional colors, wearing feathers or beads, and making their own masks. Some local grocery stores sell king cakes. 

Mardi Gras is a time for families to come together to celebrate the beginning of the Lenten season. It brings families closer through tradition and food.

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