Q:

Why do people wear masks during Mardi Gras?

A:

Quick Answer

People wear masks during Mardi Gras to add excitement to their festivities. According to the International Business Times, Mardi Gras is an opportunity for people to abandon social constraint by donning a mask to celebrate Fat Tuesday.

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Why do people wear masks during Mardi Gras?
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Full Answer

In the original Mardi Gras celebrations hundreds of years ago, masks allowed people to be someone else for a few days. Social classes were broken down, and the population mingled without fear of repercussions. Additionally, people could engage in all types of decadent behavior in an anonymous fashion.

Today, masks are still central to Mardi Gras celebrations. The ability to escape the daily grind of life by joining with other masked participants creates the mystique of the revelry.

In southern Louisiana, smaller parishes have specific styles of mask unique to their population. In the French Quarter of New Orleans, shopping for a mask provides a variety of options from simple to elaborately designed. While wearing a mask is legal on Fat Tuesday, store owners frequently ask patrons to remove their masks before stepping into the store.

Celebrating a 300-year history in New Orleans, Mardi Gras calls on French ancestry and traditions of masked balls and public entertaining on a grand scale. Blended with the African cultural traditions of dancing and ritual art, the New Orlean's Mardi Gras celebration boasts a masked party unrivaled in the United States.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you customize Mardi Gras doubloons or coins?

    A:

    Mardi Gras doubloons and wooden coins used as Mardi Gras throws can be struck with specific images unique to the customer and then mass-produced. The higher price of customized coins and doubloons reflects the initial work that goes into making the mass-produced coins unique.

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  • Q:

    What does one wear to a Mardi Gras ball?

    A:

    The attire for a Mardi Gras ball varies greatly. It runs the gamut from formal wear to festive clothing featuring the traditional holiday colors: green, gold and purple. Costumes and masks are also popular Mardi Gras attire, according to the website Mardi Gras New Orleans.

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  • Q:

    What are some costume ideas for a Mardi Gras party?

    A:

    People who attend the Mardi Gras celebrations wear whatever they want, but most wear costumes of gold, green and purple with wigs and masks to match. Gold represents power, green represents faith and purple represents justice.

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  • Q:

    What is a Mardi Gras king cake?

    A:

    The king cake is a traditional dessert associated with Mardi Gras or Carnival; the cake takes its name from the Bible story of the Three Kings, who met the baby Jesus in an event now commemorated with the celebration of Epiphany. According to the Manny Randazzo bakery in New Orleans, which has been making king cakes for Mardi Gras since 1965, the cake is a mix between an American coffee cake and a French pastry. These cakes may take different forms in different countries and can be round or ovoid in shape, typically with a hollow center, and, in the United States, are often decorated with white icing or glaze and colored decorations in the New Orleans' Mardi Gras colors of green, gold and purple.

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