Each year, around mid-February, stores are flooded in colors of purple, green, and gold. This is a sure sign that Mardi Gras is just around the corner! Symbols of this European tradition inundate stores, news feeds, along with social media feeds.
Mardi Gras celebrations begin as March 1st nears. Festivities occur in homes, creating a lively and authentic experience for all guests. Knowing the history of Mardi Gras, using these tips for planning a party, and providing premium cocktails will give guests the ultimate experience! Sourced Craft Cocktails offers cocktails delivered to your door, which will ensure patrons have a great time!
History of Mardi Gras
New Orleans, Louisiana, is often seen as the birthplace of Mardi Gras. However, Mardi Gras festivals dated back to medieval Europe and revolved around fatted calves. Fat Tuesday, another name for Mardi Gras, commences the day before Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) and marks the last opportunity to eat fat-rich foods before Lent begins.
Bypassing other European countries, Mardi Gras landed in the French House of Bourbons. It's no surprise that Bourbon Street received its name from the original Pointe du Mardi Gras!
Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville entered Louisiana on his travels, with Mobile being his first establishment just south of New Orleans. Mobile honored its first carnival in 1703. Despite New Orleans's early settlement in 1718, it wasn't until the 1740s that Mardi Gras took New Orleans by storm with exhibits around town.
Even with the flourishing carnivals, it took nearly 100 years until New Orleans became the Mardi Gras capital of the United States. In the early 1800s, New Orleans began street ceremonies with exuberant displays of fashion, entertainment, floats, and activities.
In the late 1870s, Mardi Gras celebrations led to the "Mardi Gras Act,” which made Mardi Gras an official holiday for Louisiana.
Tips on How to Throw a Mardi Gras Party
Honoring Mardi Gras within your home can be equally as exciting as visiting the French Quarter in Louisiana. With these tips, your guests will feel like they're on Bourbon Street:
Mardi Gras is known for festive colors of purple, green, and gold. When setting up a gala within the home, these colors should be included in the dinnerware, tablecloths, lights, balloons, candles, and banners. Having decorations that match traditional Mardi Gras colors will help guests feel like they are celebrating this annual event in Louisiana.
One way to promote the Mardi Gras aura is to provide authentic jazz music, like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Fats Domino, or Earl King. These artists are a favorite to honor the Mardi Gras festival.
Costumes & Accessories to Match
When invites are sent out, encourage guests to come in their best Mardi Gras costumes, including accessories.
A Mardi Gras party wouldn't be complete without beads! Guests may wear layers of beads in purple, green, and gold. Although traditional plain bead necklaces are often worn, guests may wear more gaudy necklaces that include golden dollar signs to jesters to crowns to the fleur-de-lis (the symbol of Louisiana). Often necklaces are traded between guests before the end of the night.
Masks may be a simple display of Mardi Gras colors to extravagant displays of feathers, sequins, glitter, and exuberant designs. A host may provide masks or even a decorating station in which guests can customize their masks. Masks not only create the mood of Mardi Gras, but they can also create a bit of mystery between guests. Mask-making can be turned into a competition among guests!
Having guests wear the traditional purple, green, and gold colors will help create the ambiance of being in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. By encouraging the classic theme throughout the affair, guests will feel they entered the French Quarter! A fashion show or a fashion contest would amp up the excitement!
Mardi Gras wouldn't be the same without the traditional food served at the party!
A king cake is one of the most popular menu items for Mardi Gras celebrations. Within this tradition, a plastic baby is hidden inside the cake. Whoever finds the baby is said to have good luck and is responsible for bringing the cake for the following year.
Food options should follow the traditional Mardi Gras menu from New Orleans: gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, red beans and rice, beignets, po'boys, and hush puppies. Foods are often full of fat and meat, furthermore representing the ability to have one last meal before Lent begins.
Suggested Mardi Gras Cocktails
- Mardi Gras Cocktail Kit - Your guests will let the good times roll with this premium rum cocktail mix. The zest of citrus and sweet syrup calls out to your visitors! Patrons will walk away yelling laissez les bon temps rouler!
- Zacapa No. 23 Rum Chai Tai - Your guests will fall in love with this premium cocktail. Zacapa No. 23 Rum Chai Kit is mixed with exhilarating flavors such as Zacapa No. 23 Rum, orange liqueur, fresh squeezed lime juice, and homemade chai syrup. It's the perfect blend of citrus and spice.
- Passionfruit Daiquiri with Zacapa Rum - After aging 7,545 feet above sea level, you will please guests with Zacapa Rum's smoother and sweeter taste. Zacapa Rum is pressed with virgin sugar cane while being mixed with orange liqueur, fresh squeezed lime juice, and homemade passionfruit syrup. Guests will enjoy this enticing drink!
- Sourced Craft Cocktails offer a variety of purchase options. Whether you're looking for an individual drink or a combination of drinks for the festivities, Sourced Craft Cocktails has what you need.