Monday, February 11, 2013

Mardi Gras: Throw Me Somethin' Mister

Happy Mardi Gras everyone. It's Fat Tuesday and what better to talk about today than Mardi Gras colors, parades and throws.

Parades and Throws

The first Mardi Gras parade rolled in the young city of New Orleans in the 1830s, but it wasn't until 1870 that the "Krewe" of the Twelfth Night Revelers started throwing little token off the floats.

Forty years ago they used It used to throw necklaces made of Czech glass. Now the throws range from Krewe specialty items like the decorated shoe and coconut below to plastic beads, themed cups, t-shirts and blinking items of all kinds. Each parade also has doubloons that they give away - these are metal coins that have the name of the krewe and possibly the theme. Some people go out and just collect the doubloons (photo below).

The best way to catch something from a float is to make eye contact with one of the throwees, and hold your hands up. Some people yell hey or something similar, but you rarely have time to yell out the whole phrase, "throw me something mister." The floats go by pretty quickly, unless the driver stops because a family member of a rider is nearby or if there is a breakdown. If a family member or a friend of a krewe member is near you when that person rides by, be prepared for a hail of throws coming your way. If you catch a bigger throw or a bag during one of these times it is good form to give it to the person it was meant for, often times the rider's child.

The Krewe of Muses is famous for throwing shoes

Decorated Coconut from the Zulu Parade

Some of the most prized throws are those that say the name of the Krewe on them.

Parades have new themes each year and the same floats are redecorated to fit the theme. Sometimes the throws have the name of the theme or might even reflect the name of an individual themed float.

The Colors:
The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold. Purple stands for justice, gold for power and green for faith.

King Doubloon from Bacchus 2013, that's G.W. Bailey on the right from Major Crimes

You can read more about Major Crime's Flynn and Provenza here.

Mardi Gras Float

Mardi Gras Float

More throws  - cups are popular as well as the beads

Bond, James Bond

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