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Monday, February 8, 2016

Masks for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is tomorrow and masks are very much a part of that particular celebration, particularly in New Orleans. Masks worn during Mardi Gras allow revelers to mingle freely without their identities being revealed. Mardi Gras began in New Orleans soon after the city’s founding in 1718. The Spanish, who ruled from 1762 to 1800, apparently cracked down on certain Mardi Gras rituals (though documentation from that period is scarce). U.S. authorities did much the same after taking control in 1803, banning both masked balls and public disguises. Nonetheless, they eventually accepted the festival’s existence. The first recorded Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans took place in 1837, by which time the city had been transformed into a major metropolis. Twenty years later, six men organized a secret society called the Mistick Krewe of Comus. By holding a parade with the theme of “The Demon Actors in Milton’s Paradise Lost,” along with a lavish grand ball, Comus reversed the declining popularity of Mardi Gras and helped establish New Orleans as its clear epicenter in the United States. This information was found here. Check out the site for additional interesting facts.

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