Go ahead and celebrate Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, this February, but do it up right! Decorate your home or office to demonstrate the many symbols and cultural significance behind this iconic New Orleans event.
Seven holiday staples you need for this Mardi Gras are:
1. Feathers. No Mardi Gras would be the same without feathers — a lot of 'em! Feathers are festive and flamboyant, fitting in perfectly with the occasion, costumes, and masks.
2. Beads. Probably the most recognized symbol of Mardi Gras are the beads; Buy these for favors, décor, and even vase fillers for your elaborate floral displays. The most popular ones are made from lighter, safer materials such as aluminum and plastic.
3. Masks. The tradition of wearing masks goes back to Carnival in Europe. Wearing a mask lends to the mystery and allure of this holiday, concealing celebrants' identities. Many feel that this fosters much less inhibition and allows for a little naughtiness without repercussion.
4. Coins. Coins are another symbol of Mardi Gras, and as such should be incorporated into your décor. The Doubloon has evolved into a sought-after memento from Mardi Gras celebrations ever since the unique, dateless coin was introduced in 1964. Foil-wrapped chocolate with the doubloon motif is another way to use this coin in your party preparations.
5. A wreath. Hang a Mardi Gras–inspired wreath on your door to show revelers that you observe the occasion. Use the traditional colors of the holiday, along with symbols like beads and the fleur de lis for captivating door décor. Hang decorations over windows or off porches for a festive exterior touch, too.
6. Fleur de lis. Speaking of the fleur de lis, this graceful symbol dates back to the 13th century and has become the logo for the New Orleans Saints football team. It is French and translates to 'flower' and 'lily', but it came to signify royalty in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Hanging flags and banners with this traditional symbol is well-received during Mardi Gras.
7. Color. Make sure to use the traditional colors of Mardi Gras in your decorating themes and schemes: purple, green, and gold. The underlying meanings behind these particular hues are that purple represents justice, green symbolizes faith, and gold conveys a sense of power.
Buy plenty of Mardi Gras decorations to capture the festivity and frivolity of this iconic event. Use these suggestions to bring some cultural significance to this widely-celebrated occasion.