Mardi Gras History, Facts
and Educational Resources

Add an educational twist to any birthday party, holiday celebration, or theme party.  Share the history of the Mardi Gras theme to the guests.  Play some free printable educational party games.  Shhh don't tell the kids that they are learning!

Way before the Europeans arrived in the New World, the history of the Mardi Gras began. Lupercalia was a circus-type festival, celebrated by the ancient Romans every mid-February. It began with the decision to incorporate some of the pagan rituals into the new Christianity, instead of attempting to abolish the pagan faith completely. This way it was believed that Romans would sooner accept the newer religious.

This carnival took place just before the penance of Lent. The period of abandonment and merriment was celebrated, and that gave the ancient customs a sort of Christian interpretation.

Iberville, who was a French explorer brought Mardi Gras from Paris, where it had been celebrated for hundreds of years. It was 1699 when it was brought to America, and the first one was set up on the Mississippi River on March 3rd, approximately 60 miles south of New Orleans, and he named this site Point du Mardi Gras.

Wearing masks in the streets was outlawed when New Orleans was ruled by Spain, but in 1803 it was finally under the United States flag, and by 1827 the masked balls were legalized once again. Soon after, the celebration developed a bad reputation due to violence in the streets, and by the 1850s, an end to Mardi Gras was suggested. Six believers that the Mardi Gras could be celebrated peacefully kept it going with floats and other community driven events. In 1871 the King Cake tradition began wherein a young woman was presented with a golden bean hidden in a cake. That woman was to be the first Queen of Mardi Gras.

A parade was organized to be held during the day, and the anthem to Mardi Gras became If Ever I Cease To Love.

During 1918 and 1919, the First World War resulted in the cancellation of Mardi Gras. The celebration also suffered during the Prohibition, as well as The Great Depression. It prospered once again in the 1940s, but was once again canceled during the Second World War. By the 1960s, Mardi Gras had national attention, with huge, colorful floats and Hollywood celebrities. By the 1980s, over half a million people attended Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday. These were great times for Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The history of Mardi Gras has a different interpretations by each person. This is general facts about Mardi Gras.
The Party Supplies Hut has more free elementary educational teacher resources for Mardi Gras to use in the classroom for active learning to create lesson plans with trivia questions, games and fun activities.

History of Mardi Gras
More Mardi Gras holiday educational teachers classroom resources: 

Mardi Gras Party Games
Mardi Gras Word Find
Mardi Gras Word Search
Mardi Gras Word Scramble
Mardi Gras Party Ideas
Mardi Gras Party Supplies
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