• Lincoln Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is the name of the carnival held in New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama (USA). Its name derives from the French, which translates directly into Spanish as "fat Tuesday", (similar to Spanish Maundy Thursday) but is traditionally called as "Mardi Gras". Held the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is the parade itself takes place on the last day, but often, it is associated with the season. The call "Fat Tuesday" refers to it being the last day to enjoy the goodies as much flesh before the withdrawal period that marks the beginning of Holy Week and Lent.

The date of Mardi Gras falls can vary between February 3 and March 9 in the years that are not leap and between February 4 and March 9 in leap years. As in Lent, the date depends on which Easter falls. In any event, the day before the beginning Lent always occur.

The Mardi Gras celebration is among the largest and most famous in the world. The Carnival season in New Orleans, which traces its origins to the Catholic tradition, begins on January 6, Twelfth Night. Since that day, you start seeing floats, masquerades and the famous "king cake" (the name translates to Spanish as real cakes).

Two weeks before Mardi Gras, you can see a daily parade. Parades and celebrations more colorful and processing take place the last five days of the season. In the last week of Carnival, many activities occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities.

Although many tourists visit Bourbon Street and other sections of the French Quarter during Mardi Gras, the largest parades do not go out there because the streets are too narrow for carriages.

Krewes are named different associations, clubs and fraternities are responsible for organizing parades and Mardi Gras balls, including the board line, construction of floats, sewing uniforms, and buying trinkets that are thrown the crowd during parades.

The tradition started when Louisiana was colonized by the French. The first celebration is documentary evidence that was in 1699. Yet, it is not known exactly when such festivities really began. However, for the year 1743 and resembled a well-established tradition. Officers arrived to prohibit the celebration on occasion, but each time it was forbidden, she returned since restrictions were abolished or the police and do not attached great importance.

The rock Comus is credited with being the oldest who has participated in the carnival. His first Carnival organization dates from 1857.

Wars, economic crises, political and severe weather characteristics of the area have assumed that in many cases have not entered the main parades, at least in the city of New Orleans. This was the case during the American Civil War and World War II.

The celebration of 1972 was the last time the floats paraded through the old, narrow streets of the French Quarter. The crush of crowds and, increasingly, larger floats forced authorities to change its route.

In 1979 the New Orleans police went on strike. Initially all parades were canceled or moved to neighboring communities as Jefferson Parish. That year were few tourists but the celebration continued. The National Guard of the United States dispatched troops to maintain order. As the soldiers had orders to prevent crimes against persons or property only, laws prohibiting the use of illicit drugs were not regulated. For this reason many bohemians say the Mardi Gras 1979 celebration was the best to date.

In 1991, a law requiring all organizations, including the rocks of Mardi Gras, they do not discriminate based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation and those who do not obey the law would not receive permits for parades or other approved kind of public license. In addition, the law forced the rocks reveal the names of its members and suspend their secret codes. The rocks of Comus, Momus and Proteus canceled their protest parades although members of Proteus decided the law and finally finished parading. Two federal courts later declared that the law was not compatible with the right of free association (U.S. protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution) and was an invasion of the privacy of the groups affected by the ordinance. The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of the city before the decision.

Currently many clubs base their operations in a business model and opened its membership to anyone who can pay the fees to maintain a position in a chariot. In contrast to this position are many clubs that follow the old structure of closed membership and dances which makes them exclusive to certain social circles.

As a result of Hurricane Katrina, many have wondered how Mardi Gras is celebrated in New Orleans. The council, which filed for bankruptcy after the storm, called the celebration was much smaller so that city services could cope. Many of the clubs said they would be ready for their shows so negotiations between these groups and the city filed. Almost all the shows are limited to Avenue Saint Charles in the Uptown district. Although the end of 2005 there were doubts as to the existence of a curfew during Mardi Gras, the measure, which had been applied as a result of Hurricane Katrina, was abolished in early 2006.

When given to start the season on January 6, the Twelfth Night Revelers rock called a masquerade organized to mark the beginning of the carnival season. Other clubs like Elves of Oberon (Oberon Elf) and High Priests of Mithras (the High Priests of Mithras) also have dances but not parade in public. The first parade is organized by the Krewe du Vieux rock, about three weekends before Mardi Gras.

The population of New Orleans is doubled thanks to the aforementioned tourists coming weekend. On Friday night you can see the huge parade of the Krewe of Hermes and satirical Krewe D’Etat parade also much smaller as the French Quarter Parade Fairy Fey and parades Krewe of OAK. Saturday includes several parades during the day as Krewe of Tucks and night follows the largest parade, the Krewe of Endymion. On Sunday you can Okeanos and Toth observe during the day and the "mega-parade" Krewe of Bacchus at night. The parades of Endymion and Bacchus typically include film stars, singers and other famous people going aboard dozens of floats that are part of the parades.

To Monday is known as Lundi Gras (which means "Fat Monday"). Zulu Kings Club Charity and Pleasure and peen Krewe of Rex arrive on the banks of the Mississippi River at the beginning of Canal Street. On this site a party that lasts all day is organized. In the district of Uptown Parade Krewe of Proteus (dating to 1882) takes place during the day and the mega-Krewe of Orpheus parade (which has a theme song for all floats) occurs during overnight. The flag colors are purple-justice, green-and-gold hainz power.

Celebrations begin early on Mardi Gras day. In the district of Uptown, the Zulu parade goes first followed by the parade of Rex; both end on Canal Street. Several clubs that have few members, organize floats that follow the Rex parade. Some other clubs organize marches and small events, such as Pair-o-Dice Tumblers going from one bar to another throughout the day.

Mardi Gras formally ends when the kings of Rex and his "subjects," the king and queen of carnival and the king and queen of the rock Mistick Krewe of Comus (Mardi Gras peen oldest) meet. When this meeting is a dance to in the municipal auditorium in the city.

At midnight a squad of policemen mounted on horses, begins to clear Bourbon Street. This event means that Mardi Gras is complete and has begun Lent. It is considered inappropriate and disrespectful catch Mardi Gras beads during Lent.

Costumes and masks are used almost exclusively by members of the rocks in the days before Mardi Gras but it is common to see people wearing them on the "Mardi Gras". That day all banks are closed

Throwing rocks cheap necklaces and toys to attending, parades practice that dates back to the nineteenth century. Until the 1960s most were glass necklaces, made in Czechoslovakia. These were replaced with cheaper and less fragile necklaces made in Hong Kong and Taiwan and more recently started to import from China. The fact that the cost of necklaces and toys are launched down allows greater cantidades.Los necklaces are made pepas round plastic one or more colors so they are easy to carry lighter and more cheerful.

From the early 1990’s began coveting the sets and simpler necklaces simply left on the street. Metal collars and toys in the shape of animals or people became the most prized objects. In David Redmon’s documentary entitled Mardi Gras: Made in China (2006) the existence of Mardi Gras necklaces is told from processing in a factory located in Fuzhou, China and then follow them to the Mardi Gras.

In the United States, moral standards are quite strict. Apparently, these rules are relaxed during Carnival; Therefore, from the 60s, it is common that women uncover and teach her breasts to the crowd as a lure to collect the multicolored necklaces. Residents consider it an indecent practice, but are more tolerant of tourists.

Until recently, the police tolerate such demonstrations in the French Quarter. Since the beginning of the century, the police has become more intransigent and arguing that such practices originate riots and public disorder, have attempted to diminish drastically. Any manifestation of alcoholism, nudity or violence can lead to arrest.

Outside the French Quarter, in smaller neighboring towns, such standards of conduct are stricter. Keep in mind that tourists believe it is a party for adults, while residents see it as a family tradition, fun-oriented younger.

Traditional Mardi Gras colors are purple, gold and green. It is said that these colors were chosen in 1892 when the Rex parade was the "Meaning of color" as the theme for their floats.