What Is Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is a French term, which literally translates into Fat Tuesday. Its based on a religious event, and falls on the Tuesday before Lent begins in the Christian Calendar, also known as Shrove Tuesday. The Wednesday is known as Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of fasting in the run up to Easter, 46 days later.
In order to prepare for all those days of fasting, many people would traditionally eat a lot of fatty food in the run up to Lent, and particularly on the last day hence Fat Tuesday. Obvious really.
In many parts of the world, Mardi Gras has grown into a celebration in its own right, with carnival celebrations happening all over the world.
Most famous of these is Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and the Rio Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where hundreds of thousands of people descend on the cities in question to have a good time and take part in the festivities.
The US custom of celebrating Mardi Gras started in Mobile, Alabama in 1703 by a Frenchman. Mobile still holds Mardi Gras celebrations throughout the year , but New Orleans has definitely eclipsed Mobile as the US capital of Mardi Gras now.
Best Authentic Mardi Gras Experience
Le Richelieu Hotel
For an authentic Mardi Gras experience, you can do no better than Le Richelieu, a jewel at Carnival time and all year long. The New York Times said Le Richelieu is a place you dont ever want to leave. Travel & Leisure called it The best quality buy in the French Quarter. Built in 1845, the deeply historic hotel is located in the quiet part of the colorful, romantic French Quarter with easy access to the parade as well as the sights, sounds, and restaurants that make New Orleans famous.
When Is Mardi Gras In 2022
Carnival celebrations always begin on January 6, a date referred to in the Christian calendar as the Twelfth Night because it marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas . Every year, Carnival season kicks off on this date at sundown. In years past, its followed by a weeks-long schedule of lively parades and street parties put on across the city by famous Mardi Gras krewes, or organizations responsible for organizing parades and celebrations, and New Orleans marching bands.
The festivities continue on weekends and various weekdays until Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, which falls on a different day each year.
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The Eliza Jane New Orleans In The Unbound Collection By Hyatt
This is an ideal and luxury location to celebrate the unique culture of New Orleans near the French Quarter. This hotel is where the poet and turned heiress Mrs. Elia Jane Nicholson became the first female publisher who turned a local paper into a national Institution. The hotel features several incredible amenities for individuals and families. It is located in the Central Business District in aNew Orleans, just two minutes away from Canal Street and Royal Street. It is an incredible location to experience some of the best Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.
Things To See And Do In The Central Business District
- Ride the historic St. Charles Streetcar line, the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world.
- See the opulent and ornate Immaculate Conception Church.
- Sip and sample a range of fruit wines and smoothies at NOLA Tropical Winery.
- Wander through Lafayette Square, the second oldest square in the city.
- Enjoy a sweet and refreshing treat at Imperial Woodpecker Sno Balls.
- Sink your teeth into delicious plates of southern comfort food at Commerce Restaurant.
- Dine on local delicacies like poboys and fried catfish at Hobnobbers Varieties Bar.
- Excite your senses at Juans Flying Burrito.
- Eat amazing Cajun cuisine at Menas Palace.
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Take A Cemetery Tour Of New Orleans
Ok, so this one is a bit weird, but hey, thats New Orleans. One of the top tourist attractions in the city of New Orleans are the cemeteries.
You might be wondering why.
Well, the answer is that New Orleans is built on a swamp. This makes the traditional practice of burying people in the ground a bit tricky, as all that decomposing body stuff isnt really something you want leaking into your groundwater.
The cities solution? Above ground graves. These graves are like little houses of their own, into which citizens are placed on their death.
Usually, a grave will hold multiple bodies, and the heat means they actually work a little like ovens, accelerating the decomposition process, and meaning more space for the dead in each individual grave.
Its a bit ghoulish, but it is unique to New Orleans, so a tour is an essential part of any visit.
We did a 2 hour walking tour of St Louis Cemetery #1, most famous of all the New Orleans cemeteries. A similar tour is available here, and theres a shorter 1 hour tour here. You can also tour Lafayette cemetery on this tour.
The tour covered both the cemeteries, and also touched on some of the Voodoo culture of New Orleans with infamous Voodoo Queen of New Orleans buried in the cemetery we visited.
The tour was a lot of fun, and we learnt a great deal about burial in New Orleans.
We also visited some notable graves, including that of actor Nicolas Cage , civil rights activity Homer Plessy, and of course, Marie Laveau.
What Is Mardi Gras In New Orleans
TMardi Gras is a popular celebration in all parts of Louisiana, including New Orleans. The festivities take two weeks, during which there is one major parade each day.
The occurrence of the parades depends on the weather, and some days have several large parades. The largest of the parades take place during the last five days of the Mardi Gras season. Additionally, in the last week, there are several events like parades and balls, including masquerade balls in different parts of New Orleans and its surrounding communities.
These events are organized by social clubs known as Krewes. The Mardi Gras season attracts numerous tourists to the city and its environs.
Date: 01 March 2022
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Experience 2021 Mardi Gras Maskerade A Safe Celebration Of Mardi Gras Traditions
Royal Sonesta New Orleans is considered by many to be the most desirable location to experience the fun and pageantry of Mardi Gras. To assure that your stay is enjoyable and comfortable during Mardi Gras weekend, we have outlined everything you will need to know for Carnival Season.
In the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday revelers worldwide can celebrate Mardi Gras traditions safely by participating in virtual elements such as social media contests and live-streamed events.
Learn about the hotel and available amenities for your upcoming stay. Please note, for the health & safety of our guests and team members, Sonesta hotels require guests to wear face coverings in all indoor public areas. More information about the Stay Safe with Sonesta initiative can be found here.
Convention Center / Arts District
If youre here for a meeting or convention and brought your family with you, these hotels in the Convention Center/Arts District are an ideal choice. This area is home to the Louisiana Childrens Museum, the National World War II Museum and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and is in easy walking distance of the French Quarter, the Aquarium of the Americas and the St. Charles Streetcar line to the Garden District.
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Create A Mardi Gras Parade Plan
With more than 80 parades on the 2020 Mardi Gras parade schedule, youll want to plan ahead. There are many different types of parades, so find out about each krewe and their theme before you make your list.
- Ancient Druids and Krewe Of Nyx on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, beginning at 6:15 PM
- Babylon, Chaos, and Muses on Thursday, February 20, 2020, beginning at 5:30 PM
- Hermes, dEtat, and Morpheus on Friday, February 21, 2020, beginning at 6:00 PM
- Iris and Tucks on Saturday, February 22, 2020, beginning at 11:00 AM
- Endymion on Saturday, February 22, 2020, beginning at 4:15 PM
- Okeanos, Mid-City, Thoth, and Bacchus on Sunday, February 23, 2020, beginning at 11:00 AM
- Proteus and Orpheus on Monday, February 24, 2020, beginning at 5:15 PM
- Zulu and Rex on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, beginning at 8:00 AM
There are Mardi Gras parades that start as early as the Twelfth Night , and things pick up around February 9. So, you wont have any trouble finding excitement at various locations across New Orleans during Carnival time.
Disadvantages Of Visiting New Orleans During Mardi Gras
There are two main disadvantages to visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras. First, its going to be super busy. If youre not into large crowds of people, streets being closed off and all the things that go along with a city partying for a couple of weeks, this might not be for you.
The other disadvantage is price, and in particular accommodation. A lot of people come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and this pushes accommodation prices through the roof. We paid around $1,000 for a weeks vacation rental accommodation during Mardi Gras, which was an incredible bargain even if it was much higher than you would normally have to pay.
I wouldnt let these two things put you off experiencing Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or coming to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Just be prepared for the experience!
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French Quarter Where To Stay In New Orleans For Your First Visit
The oldest and most famous neighborhood in New Orleans, theres no better place to stay on your first visit than the French Quarter.
At the heart of the city, the French Quarter is where you can find great food, incredible music, and lively nightlife. Here you can enjoy good times, a laid-back attitude, and colorful surroundings.
The French District is a haven for foodies, packed with amazing restaurants offering dishes and delicacies from around the world. Whether you favor sweet or savory, salty or sour, youll find endless options in this awesome district.
Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In New Orleans
Wild and lively, colourful and bright New Orleans is always a good time. Its where youll find the roots of excellent music, a vibrant cultural scene, and plenty of good food and great times.
In this guide, weve highlighted our five favourite neighbourhoods in New Orleans. If youre still not sure where to stay, heres a quick recap.
For backpackers on a budget, our pick for the best hostel is the Auberge NOLA Hostel in the CBD. Not only is it centrally located, but it has large rooms and an on-site bar.
We also recommend the Hotel Mazarin. Set in the French Quarter, this hotel is packed with charm, elegance and southern hospitality.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!
And dont forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. Theyre easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once youve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and youre on your way!
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Garden District The Coolest Neighborhood In New Orleans
The Garden District is located on the south side of New Orleans downtown . It is a very cool area famous for its historic mansions, elegant boutiques, and nice cafes. The best way to enjoy the Garden District is simply by having a stroll along beautiful streets, spotting colorful mansions, and enjoying chic cafes in between.
If you are a person like me who loves to be surprised by streets that come up with new things around every corner, you will enjoy this stroll for sure!
If you head uptown you will reach the Lower Garden District. It is not as fancy as the garden district but here you will find many pubs and budget-friendly restaurants. Another great way to wander around this neighborhood is by renting a bike. By bike, you can easily reach other neighborhoods and also enjoy some time in the parks.
Of course, the laid-back, elegant neighborhood of the Garden District offers many nice accommodation options too. Here are some of my favorite places I chose for you:
New Orleans Best Wedding & Event Spaces
The Riverview Room provides indoor and outdoor views of the Mississippi River, French Quarter, and Central Business District from its elegant main room and multiple terraces. For over 25 years, they have successfully hosted the complete spectrum of special events and weddings for groups of 50+ to 500+. Their versatility offers solutions for the broad array of your event ideas.
Just steps off Bourbon Street, youll find a bar where old-world charm meets new-world finesse. Centuries-old brick walls meet black and white marble floors, a marble bar sits atop an antique brick and crystal chandeliers hanging from rustic ceiling beams.
Bourbon Heat is a dynamic, versatile venue with an array of options to meet the particular needs of your event. Their primary goal is to make every event unique and memorable. A lush courtyard and a bar provide the quintessential French Quarter experience. The club with its AV equipment and DJ booth set the mood for any social or corporate gathering. Finally, the 50-foot balcony over Bourbon Street allows your guests to partake in Bourbon Streets electric atmosphere.
Visititng New Orleans is guaranteed to a good time spent with friends and family while enjoying music and locale fare expeiclaly if you try any of EventUps best restaurants and hotels.
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Bonus: The Bywater The Best Kept Secret In New Orleans
The Bywater is probably the most beloved neighborhood in New Orleans among locals. Its more laid back than most anywhere in the city and is a great spot to just kickback and shoot the shit with friends.
Most appreciated is the fact that The Bywater is still pretty rough around the edges. This makes it a huge hit with hipsters and artists and because of their presence, The Bywater has a distinctly quirky vibe.
Infrogmation of New Orleans
Of course being New Orleans, there is plenty to do in The Bywater at night. Local legends like Music Box Village and Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits are among the most popular places to drink in the neighborhood and come highly recommended.
Because of The Bywaters long boulevards and leisurely pace, wed actually say that this is one of the best areas in New Orleans to Stay without a car. Just go outside and go for a stroll who knows what you may find here.
Further Reading For Your New Orleans Mardi Gras Experience
We experienced Mardi Gras in New Orleans as part of a road trip through the Deep South of the USA. That adventure started in Charleston, South Carolina, and we went through four states, ultimately ending up in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
You can check out all the posts from our southern USA road trip here more are on the way as I fill in more of the blanks. Weve also written a number of other guides on travel in the USA and beyond, and we have some other resources you might find useful. In no particular order:
- If youre planning on visiting any of the plantations along the river road, check out our comprehensive guide to the River Road Plantations of Louisiana
Hi there! We’re Laurence and Jessica Norah.
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Things To See And Do In Mid
- Explore the 1,300-acres of lush and magical landscapes that make up New Orleans City Park.
- See the 64 incredible sculptures that are spread throughout The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA.
- Visit the gilded statue of Joan of Arc, which dates back to the late-19th-century.
- Stop and smell the roses at the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
- Ride the colourful carousel at the Carousel Gardens.
- See your favourite characters come to life at Storyland.
- Play a round of 18 at City Putt.
- Dine on delicious seafood dishes at The Blue Crab.
- Eat incredible homestyle meals at Russells Marina Grill.
Royal Frenchmen Hotel And Bar
The Royal Frenchmen Hotel and Bar is an incredible hotel located on the Frenchmen street, downriver from the French Quarter. The hotel is just a walking distance away from some of the most famous Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. From the Krewe du Vieux to the Krewedelusion, there are a few parades you can enjoy from this hotel. Staying at this hotel is also an incredible way to experience original New Orleans music, food, and culture. From fantastic services to the amenities, the hotel and bar have so much to offer.
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