If you’ve never experienced Mardi Gras first-hand, a giant bar crawl on Bourbon Street involving college kids imbibing to excess and inexplicably baring all for some plastic beads may come to mind. But this is a major misconception, friends.
In fact, the Mardi Gras festival predates the idea of spring break-style partying by several centuries, and any New Orleanian will tell you that the jamboree that centers around Fat Tuesday is actually a family-friendly affair. So, what exactly is Mardi Gras a celebration of? Read on for the short version of this festival’s rich history and a round-up of the major Mardi Gras traditions, so you can party with the best of ‘em in Nawlins.