Mardi Gras: Learn the Lingo


Happy Fat Tuesday! I am bummed I missed all the parades this year because I have been out of town so much, but I still got in the Carnival spirit just living here, I love it! I thought today would be a fun day to give you all non New Orleans folks a little lesson in all things Mardi Gras (fun face: until I was in middle school, I thought Mardi Gras was a national holiday. I grew up with it and didn’t know any better!) So, here is a lesson in some Mardi Gras lingo. Now, go impress your friends and eat some king cake, but be careful of the baby!

Throws: Trinkets/toys/beads thrown by the Krewe off of the floats. Other popular items are plastic cups, doubloons, moonpies, and stuffed animals. Ever hear the phrase “throw me somethin’ mister?” Smile


Carnival: Carnival season is the time when the locals celebrate Mardi Gras. There are parades on the weekends, special food to buy like king cakes, parties and the like. Every year Carnival season starts on January 6th (my wedding anniversary!) and goes until Fat Tuesday.

Krewe: The krewe are the members of each carnival association. Most have a ball, and a parade (Krewe of Bacchus, Krewe of Endymion, etc.) The “krewe” dresses up and rides on the floats when the parade rolls. Got all that?


Mardi Gras: Fat Tuesday, the actual holiday itself, precedes Ash Wednesday.

King Cake: A cake which is really more like a bread, in a circle with icing and sprinkles on top. Some are plain and some are filled with cream cheese or fruit fillings. There is a baby inside, and whoever gets the baby in their piece has to buy the king cake at the next party.

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Ball: A lot of the larger Krewes have a ball during carnival season. They announce a court, and the court is honored during the ball. Everyone dresses up, it’s very fancy and formal. Every year the Krewe chooses a theme, and the ball may be centered around the theme each year as well.

Doubloons: Aluminum coins that are thrown from the floats that have that particular Krewe’s logo on it. These became very popular items, and some are very rare and collectors items.

Captain: The Captain is the leader of the carnival association for that Krewe. The Captain gets his own float at the front of the parade.


Ladders: It can be hard for small children to be seen during the big and crowded parades, so people create ladders with seats in them and wheels so their kids can see and be seen during the parades. You will see these lining the streets during parades.



I hope this was a fun and informative post. Now, who wants to come visit me next Mardi Gras?

QOTD: Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras parade? Want to go to one?

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21 Responses to Mardi Gras: Learn the Lingo

  1. 1

    […]   Happy Fat Tuesday! I am bummed I missed all the parades this year because I have been out of town so much, but I still got in the Carnival spirit just living here, I love it! I thought today … Continue reading → …read more […]

  2. 2

    Such a cute post! Krewe was the only one I’ve never seen before… I wanna be a part of one some day. :) Is that even possible? haha

  3. 3
    Monica says:

    Even being from there this was a fun post to read. A friend of mine wrote this the other day: “I live in a place where Tuesday is just another day, but I’m from a place that knows better” So true!!

  4. 4
    Lesley says:

    Thanks! I can’t help but wonder what it’s like there, it seems so much fun.

  5. 5
    Jen says:

    I want to try king cake! But I’d probably choke on the baby.

  6. 6
    Melissa Love says:

    This is awesome! I want to come for Mardi Gras one year so bad! I LOVE NO, but have never been for Mardi Gras — and I’d totally want to rock a ball bc that seems fun too :)

  7. 7

    I’ve never been to a Mardi Gras parade, but my great aunt lived in New Orleans when I was younger and my grandmother picked up some informative video on Mardi Gras which I used to watch all the time. I even insisted in dressing up in a Mardi Gras costume (or the closest she thing she could sew…mostly just had green, purple, and gold shiny fabric) for Halloween one year and I think she had a King cake shipped up once for me to try. It’s a fun tradition; I’ll have to make it down to New Orleans sometime to witness it in person.

  8. 8
    Ana says:

    It’s nice to be back on the coast for it this year. I grew up with it too, so it is nice to be back in the land where you can get king cake again, especially the good kinds with cream cheese and strawberry or apple.:)

  9. 9

    I went to Mardi Gras when my sister lived in NOLA it was a very fun, bucket list, event. I think it would be fun to visit and go to the non-college scene. I wanted a ladder for myself I am so short.

    Our hotel had king cake in the lobby every morning, it was so good.

  10. 10
    Julie says:

    I love New Orleans!! I have been many times but never during Mardi Gras. If anyone ever gets to go to New Orleans and it is not Mardi Gras check out Mardi Gras World where you can see a lot of the floats and see them made. And by the way King Cake is delicious.

  11. 11

    This was such a fun post! I used some info for our own “mardigras” tonight!!! We made jambalaya and mojitos!!!!

  12. 12
    Ali says:

    ok wow there is A LOT to mardi gras! I thought it was just Fat Tuesday lol Needless to say, I was VERY confused when someone of my facebook posted photos of them with a mini baby and a multi-color cake..I thought it was some new baby shower game! Thanks for explaining it for us non-Southerners :)

  13. 13
    Donna says:

    I grew up “out in the Parish”….aka Metairie! This made my heart smile! I have entered a half marathon this Sunday to run off all the King Cake I have consumed! Love your blog & spunk.

  14. 14
    Karen :0) says:

    This is great! You covered everything…great job! :0)

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