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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

(Let the good times roll!)

The Big Uneasy by Pauline Baird Jones

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a celebration like no other. It is a time when the streets are filled with music, colorful floats, and costumed revelers. The party starts on Epiphany (Twelfth Night) and continues until the day before Ash Wednesday, known as Fat Tuesday.

Mardi Gras, which means “Fat Tuesday” in French, is a celebration that has been a tradition in New Orleans for over 300 years. It was first celebrated by French settlers in the early 18th century and has since become a beloved tradition for locals and visitors alike.

One of the most iconic symbols of Mardi Gras is the colorful parade. Floats adorned with beads, trinkets, and other festive decorations, are pulled through the streets by members of various social clubs known as “krewes.” These krewes, such as the Krewe of Rex and the Krewe of Zulu, are made up of local residents and have been around for over a century.

Another important aspect of Mardi Gras is the music. From brass bands to jazz to gospel, the streets are alive with the sounds of celebration. The vibrant music, along with the colorful costumes and floats, creates a festive atmosphere that is hard to resist.

Mardi Gras is also a time for indulgence. The traditional Mardi Gras meal is a delicious gumbo, made with a roux-based broth and a variety of meats and vegetables. Other popular dishes include jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, King cakes, and beignets (square-shaped fried doughnuts dusted with powdered sugar).

But Mardi Gras is not just about the parades, music, and food. It is also a celebration of community and culture. New Orleans is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions, and Mardi Gras is a time when everyone comes together to celebrate. If you ever have a chance to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans, don’t pass it up. 

So, put on your dancing shoes, grab a mask and a handful of beads, and head for the Big Easy for the party of a lifetime. Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

Eighteen years experiencing the unique gumbo that is New Orleans fuels my Big Uneasy series, which is now at eight books! Start your New Orleans adventure with Relatively Risky! Or you can read the short story, Family Treed, for free! Find the complete series click here.

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