Mardi Gras masks and Mardi Gras costumes play a big part in the celebration of Carnival around the world. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday and is a reference to the final day of feasting before the first day of the Lent, Ash Wednesday. The traditions of Mardi Gras have evolved over the years to include much more than just a one-day celebration on Fat Tuesday. In places such as Venice, Italy, the traditions of Mardi Gras are celebrated for eight days. In the United States, the most sought after place to celebrate the festivities is undeniably New Orleans.
Mardi Gras masks and the ornate and decorative Mardi Gras costumes have grown out of the ancient tradition of Mardi Gras that had more to do with warding off evil spirits than celebrating in the streets. They do however represent an overturning of daily traditions in a sense. The result is that the celebration of Mardi Gras appears to be a wild street party because of all of the enigmatic Mardi Gras masks and the brilliantly designed costumes.
The Mardi Gras costumes themselves have become just as big a tradition as beads and floats at the parade. If you are planning a trip to New Orleans for this popular celebration you should get yourself a mask to fully enjoy the traditions of Mardi Gras. You may not ever have a chance to dress up in such a way as an adult again, with no one thinking anything of it at all except perhaps, nice mask.