With an area of 3.796 million square miles, it’s safe to say that the United States of America is a pretty big place. It would probably take you several hundred days just to walk from coast to coast here, which is no easy feat. The immense size of this nation means there are so many communities that live their lives differently to others, and these are often divided by state or city lines. Take New Orleans, for example.
This region of Louisiana is home to plenty of traditions and delicacies that you might struggle to find elsewhere. Sure, there are elements of the city’s culture that aren’t wholly unique to the area, but nowhere celebrates these features quite like New Orleans. A vacation here would almost be like visiting another world, especially if your trip coincided with Mardi Gras. It’s undoubtedly the party to end all parties.
Welcome to Mardi Gras
For one day every year, the city of New Orleans opens itself up to Mardi Gras celebrations. This is a carnival that’s held the day before the religious period of Lent, hence why the event is also known as Fat Tuesday. Of course, many of those who go to the Louisiana city for Mardi Gras don’t do so because they have a strong faith.
They’re more interested in celebrating one of the craziest parties of the year. There are few events in the world that are quite as wild as this one, from the costumes people wear to the floats in the parade. A lot of young people make sure to include this celebration on their social calendar because they don’t want to miss out on the fun. That, and they just really want those beads.
Part of the parade
Most of the time, Mardi Gras is known for being a wild party where people drink too much and engage in regrettable behavior. However, when you take away that stuff, it’s still one of the most captivating events of the year. That’s because so much work goes into making it such a major talking point, both in New Orleans and around the world. It’s a chance for people to let their creativity shine, particularly when it comes to the parade.
Floats might not be anything new, with events like Carnival and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade also employing such things during their celebrations. However, usually, their offerings aren’t as vibrant and wacky as the stuff that you see driving down the street in New Orleans. These floats are on a whole nother level.
The weird and wonderful
Of course, it’s not just the floats that are designed to be eye-catching. Many people visiting New Orleans for the festivities will also dress up to get into the party spirit. This is one of the only places in the world where looking like this won’t make you stand out from the crowd. Sure, plenty of those who celebrate Mardi Gras don’t wear wacky outfits, because they’re more interested in drinking too much rather than letting their creativity shine.
However, everywhere you look here, there’s bound to be someone dressed in an extravagant costume. These flower outfits are definitely eye-catching, and against a backdrop of ordinarily dressed people, they dominate the focus. However, New Orleans has seen so many costumes that were even wackier than this over the years, and that’s why some people love Mardi Gras so much.
Pets at the party
The festivities might seem to appeal to people the most, but that doesn’t mean animals aren’t allowed to get in on the fun. You’re bound to see plenty of pooches enjoying themselves at Mardi Gras, especially as it’s an excellent place for charities to grab people’s attention. The SPCA, for instance, has used the event in the past to highlight their work and convince others to help them help the dogs.
With eye-catching floats of their own, they’ve managed to raise awareness while still engaging in the joyful celebrations around them. Of course, asking people to adopt dogs at Mardi Gras can have its downsides at times. After all, when someone’s had too much to drink at the party, you can’t really trust them when they say they want to take a pet pooch home.
Doing whatever it takes
For many students, New Orleans is the place to be when Mardi Gras celebrations are happening. If they want to enjoy a wild party and make amazing memories – which they may or may not forget – then there’s nowhere else they should be. Part of the appeal for many younger visitors is the colorful beads and what lengths they’re willing to go to for them. As you can see here, flashing isn’t always out of the question for these people.
It might be embarrassing exposing yourself to a group of strangers for a bit of plastic, but when you’re in the moment, it doesn’t matter. Mardi Gras is all about letting your hair down and doing things you’d never consider anywhere else. Still, doing it in front of half a dozen cameras might prove regrettable in the long run.
The baby dolls
While some people at Mardi Gras wear random costumes with no particular meaning, others follow specific themes that are rooted in tradition. The baby dolls most definitely fit into the latter category. These are a group of African-American men and women who have been wearing “short satin skirts” with “bloomers” and “garters” since the early 1900s.
The tradition started as a result of racial division, with the black women of the red light district dressing up for Mardi Gras to compete against their white counterparts. They chose the baby doll attire because it was a contrast to how people viewed them, and from there, the look was born. People still pay homage to these women more than a century later, and it’s a real testament to the spirit of Mardi Gras.
Be who you want to be
For a lot of people, expressing their creative freedom doesn’t come easily. They’re not encouraged to let their true colors shine at home, forcing them to find small places where they’re allowed to fit in. That’s why Mardi Gras means so much to them. You can show up to the festivities looking like you’ve just caught the most fabulous case of chickenpox, and no-one will think twice about it.
This is the party where weirdness just blends into the background, hence why it’s an excellent place for exploring the limits of your creativity. You couldn’t walk around looking like this anywhere else, or people would cross the street just to avoid you. However, in New Orleans, the bizarreness is all part of the fun that Mardi Gras inspires in people.
Go hard or go home
Mardi Gras might only last for a day, but it’s easily one of the most exhausting 24 hours of anyone’s life. Even if you go to the festivities thinking you can stay in control and not let the party get the best of you, you may well be proven wrong. All it takes is a few hours of being swept up in the madness to lose yourself and end up feeling worse for wear in the morning.
For most people, this probably comes from having drunk too much. However, for others, it’s merely a case of being completely exhausted by all the action. You can’t show up to Mardi Gras and hope for some quiet celebrations because that’s not how things go here. You either go hard or go home, and most visitors usually opt for the former.
After the party
Whenever there’s a major celebration like Mardi Gras, the aftermath is always a very sobering thing to see. These kinds of parties create so much mess in such a short space of time, and things get particularly bad in New Orleans. That’s because of all the beads that get used every year during the festivities. A lot of these end up being left behind once the party’s over, which means significant cleanup operations are vital.
This trash can is stuffed to the brim with the colorful plastic, and we don’t doubt that it’s just one of many that get filled every year. Considering the environmental issues the world is facing at the moment, this is a significant problem that officials are going to need to manage in the coming years.
A treasured memento
Despite the number of beads that get left behind every year, plenty of people take theirs home with them. Why wouldn’t you? Considering the lengths that some of these party-goers go to to get these things, you’d probably expect them to cherish the beads forever. It’s a souvenir from one of the biggest parties of their lives, and perhaps the only reminder they’ll have that they actually even went to Mardi Gras.
After all, a lot of people spend so much time drinking during the festivities that they wake up not even realizing that they’re in New Orleans. The beads are something they can show off proudly to friends who didn’t go with them, and that they can treasure as a keepsake for many years to come.
Although Mardi Gras is undoubtedly one of the biggest draws to New Orleans, it’s a party that only comes once a year. For the other 364 days, there’s so much other stuff about the city that sets it apart from everywhere else. That includes the food, with New Orleans being host to some surprising delicacies. One of their most treasured dishes is the turducken, which, as the name suggests, is a combination of several different birds.
The meal features a turkey stuffed with duck and chicken in what is undoubtedly a vegetarian’s worst nightmare. It’s definitely not something to go for if you’re a passionate animal lover. However, if eating meat is one of your favorite things to do, then this dish ought to be everything your taste buds ever dreamed of.
Turkey, duck, and chicken are all things we’re accustomed to eating, albeit not together. However, one meaty delicacy enjoyed in New Orleans that we’re not so used to is alligator. Yes, it seems that those slightly timid – compared to crocodiles, anyway – reptiles are a favorite of many meat-eaters in the Louisiana city. Apparently, a lot of people find alligator to be quite mild-flavored, with the meat also full of protein and devoid of fat.
That actually makes it relatively healthy to consume, even if the animal itself doesn’t sound too appetizing. You can supposedly serve alligator in a variety of ways, such as in a stew or as a burger. However, most people reportedly enjoy them fried up and served as nuggets because apparently chicken just wasn’t doing it for them anymore.
Wild boar on the menu
If alligator wasn’t wild enough for you, then you’ll be glad to know it’s not the only unconventional animal meat people enjoy in New Orleans. It appears that another popular choice for food in the Louisiana city is wild boar. We suppose the animal isn’t too different from pigs, so it’s not that crazy a thing to eat. Still, we can’t think of many places around the world where you’d find something like this on the menu.
Much like alligator, this meat can also be prepared in a number of ways, such as in stew or chilis. Sausages are also a popular option, as are meatballs. Not only do the locals find they taste good, but as wild boar are considered an invasive species, eating them actually benefits the city too apparently.
Chicken and waffles
For some people, waffles are a dish that should only ever be eaten as a desert. You slather them with ice cream or chocolate and tuck into them at the end of a meal. There’s nothing wrong with seeing things that way, but it’s not how the people of New Orleans typically view their waffles. Instead, they prefer to have them as a savory option, combining the cooked batter with chicken of all things.
That might sound unusual, but to the residents of this Louisiana city, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. That’s because it’s part of the soul food culture, which is prominent in New Orleans. These dishes, which originated with African American descendants of the Deep-South, have been an essential element of the city’s traditions for decades now.
Turn up the heat
A trip to New Orleans might not be the best idea if you don’t love hot food. After all, it seems like nearly every meal in the city is seasoned with half a dozen spices. Obviously, not everything is made to burn your mouth off, but you can bet you’ll always find something hot no matter where you eat. That’s because cayenne peppers are a common ingredient in dishes, the heat of which is definitely not for inexperienced taste buds.
Of course, it’s not just the food itself that is full of spice. You’ll also find plenty of hot sauce lining the shelves in grocery stores, too, with some places even dedicated entirely to the stuff. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any meal that hasn’t already turned up the heat from zero to 100.
The king of cakes
New Orleans has all sorts of delicacies that you don’t tend to find anywhere else, including ones tied to Mardi Gras. A dessert that’s more prominent here than in most other parts of the world is the king cake. Different varieties of this dish are made, but one that’s quite common nowadays is the circular brioche dough, which is glazed with colored sugar.
Some hundreds of thousands of these desserts are consumed around Mardi Gras every year, with their colorful appearance fitting right in with the festivities. Although the king cake isn’t unique to New Orleans, no city seems to get through quite as many of these dishes as this one. Of course, even though other parts of the world do produce the cake, they rarely look the same as what you find here anyway.
Wear whatever you want
One of the great things about Mardi Gras is that you never have to worry about facing judgment from the people around you. Back in the 1930s, a group of men wearing women’s lingerie in public probably wouldn’t be too well received. Opinions about such things were very different back then from what they are almost a century later. However, there were no repercussions for these men enjoying their controversial dress code because they were engaging in the fun of Mardi Gras.
As long as the celebrations have been going in New Orleans, people have been free to express themselves in whatever way they fancy. Sure, there might have been some people who took issue with this dress code back then, but they were definitely a minority during the festivities.
The stars come out
It’s not just your average party-goers who make their way to Mardi Gras every year. Plenty of famous faces have been spotted at the celebrations in the past, including musical icon Cyndi Lauper. Like she told us in the ‘80s, girls just want to have fun, and that’s precisely what the singer did when she attended the festivities in 2012. She was there to kick off the party alongside rocker Bret Michaels as they gave a great show in Orpheus.
The likes of Lionel Richie, Flo Rida, Mario Lopez, Dolly Parton, and Nicolas Cage have also all made appearances at Mardi Gras in the past. It seems that even they can’t resist letting loose at a good party every once in a while either. We’re sure none of them exposed themselves for beads, though.
Celebrating the local culture
Mardi Gras might be the biggest celebration in New Orleans, but it’s hardly the only one. The city is also home to the Jazz & Heritage Festival, which happens at the end of April and beginning of May every year. It’s something that’s been going on since the ‘70s, and it shows no sign of losing momentum 50 years later. The festival reportedly makes as much as $300 million for the city every year, a figure that’s only ever beaten by Mardi Gras.
Here, visitors can enjoy a wide range of musical styles, including folk, gospel, and country, with a particular emphasis placed on jazz. The event is intended as a celebration of the New Orleans culture and boasts local delicacies and artisan gifts alongside the extensive range of music.
Married at the festival
Any other time of the year, you probably wouldn’t consider traveling out to New Orleans just to tie the knot. Not unless you or your partner had connections to the city, of course. However, whenever the Jazz Festival comes around, it seems that quite a few people get into the marrying mood. Weddings aren’t a common thing at this event, but they have been happening here for at least 30 years now.
Usually, one official ceremony will occur per year, with the lucky couple getting married in the Gospel Tent during a musical break. It doesn’t cost anything to tie the knot here, although people are expected to bring their own marriage license. There isn’t a discount on festival tickets either, nor are there any special privileges for seating. However, you do get a chance to be married somewhere incredibly unique.
Funerals are rarely ever a cause for celebration. After all, what is there for you to be happy about when you’ve just lost someone you care for? However, in New Orleans, these send-offs aren’t purely about saying goodbye to a loved one. In many cases, they’re also about celebrating the life they lived and moving forward with optimism rather than pessimism. That’s why jazz funerals are a relatively common tradition in the Louisiana city.
Although solemn music is played as part of the proceedings, upbeat tunes are also included to remind everyone that tomorrow is another day. These kinds of funerals are often used for members of African American families, although they’re also common for people who have passed away young too. After all, you usually need to find a reason to smile after someone loses their life so early.
You’re never too old
Jazz funerals are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect from a city known so well for its party atmosphere. Even though Mardi Gras only happens once a year, the spirit of the festivities lives on in New Orleans for the other 364 days. This is the place where you’re never too old to enjoy yourself, regardless of what other societies might say. Even though events like Mardi Gras are popular with people in their twenties looking to get wasted, this age group doesn’t necessarily dominate the proceedings.
Plenty of adults in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even older love to party hard just likely everyone else. These people might not necessarily flash anyone and everyone that offers them beads, but they can still put the younger visitors to shame with their antics.
When two become one
You really never know what you’re going to encounter when you go to Mardi Gras. Just when you think you’ve seen everything that could possibly weird you out, you come across something that takes things to a whole new level. We imagine that party-goers were a little confused when they saw what looked like a human dog walking two Samoyeds at one of the celebrations.
Anyone who’d already drunk a fair amount or taken something they probably shouldn’t have may well have been particularly disturbed by this sight. After all, the last thing you want when you’re a little out of it is to think that dogs and humans have suddenly merged into one. That’s the kind of terrifying nightmare that you’d only ever see in a horror or sci-fi movie or television show.
Out of control
Obviously, it goes without saying that this giant bottle is just a prop, and it doesn’t actually contain gallons of this beverage. However, in the grand scheme of things, the size of this bottle is probably just a small fraction of how much actually gets consumed at Mardi Gras. We reckon there are probably many young attendees of the festivities who would love to try and drink as much of this stuff as they could get their hands on.
It wouldn’t exactly be a smart idea, given that it could lead to poisoning and loss of life. However, a lot of people who go to Mardi Gras don’t have any common sense left after just a few hours of celebrations. The event might be one big party, but it’s not without its casualties every year.
We couldn’t think of a more perfect picture that highlights just how prevalent these plastic beads are at Mardi Gras. Apparently, 75% of the total beads shipped from China to the U.S. every year are sent to New Orleans for the festivities. Given that the nation usually receives over 20 million pounds of these things annually, that’s a significant amount going directly to Mardi Gras.
We imagine that all the trees in the city could probably be covered with these beads, and there’d still be some left over afterward. Seeing them like this definitely makes for a stunning sight, especially when the celebrations are in full swing. However, it’s hard not to be concerned about so much plastic going to waste every year considering the problems we’re facing right now.
They say it’s haunted
New Orleans seems like it’s the party capital of the U.S., but that’s not the only title it can stake a claim to. It’s also considered by many to be one of the most haunted cities in the States. Finding a ghost tour to go on here isn’t too difficult because there are so many buildings that apparently haven’t put the past behind them yet. 716 Dauphine Street is one such property, with the location home to a brutal crime back in the 1800s.
It was here that a sultan was reportedly buried alive on the same night that others had their lives brutally taken inside his house. Whether this is all true or not, we don’t know. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the place has supposedly been haunted for centuries now.
The woman who became a monster
This property is another one that’s supposedly haunted, and it’s perhaps one of the most famous in all of New Orleans. That’s because it was the former residence of Madame LaLaurie. Viewers of ‘American Horror Story’ will be familiar with the woman who mistreated and tortured her slaves back in the 1800s. The historical figure featured as a prominent character in the third season ‘Coven,’ although a lot of artistic liberties were taken with her interpretation.
Like with the previous property, there’s no knowing just how accurate the stories are regarding her mistreatment. However, there’s no denying that she did abuse her slaves to some extent, with her crimes eventually being discovered thanks to a fire. Now, it’s believed that her former prisoners haunt the property, and have been doing so for hundreds of years.
The loss of a great love
It’s not just the houses in New Orleans that are reportedly haunted. Buildings of all types have stories of supernatural activity, including this French Quarter restaurant. Unlike some of the other properties in the cities, the haunting of this place isn’t tied to any horrific crime. Instead, it’s believed that the former owner is clinging on to the restaurant because of how he lost it. Pierre Antoine Leopardi Jourdan reportedly bought the place in 1788 after it was damaged by the Good Friday Fire.
He spent a lot of time and money restoring the property, only to allegedly lose it in a poker game in 1814. Devastated by what had happened, Jourdan became depressed and eventually took his life on the second floor. Coincidentally, that’s where the restaurant now holds seances for intrigued visitors.
The nun’s final resting place
Unless you love being spooked, the thought of staying in a haunted hotel probably doesn’t sound too appealing. However, that’s exactly what you get to do if you check in to the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter. It’s located between Royal Street and Bourbon Street, two parts of the city that offer very different experiences for visitors. It’s not the happenings outside that attract people to this place, though.
Instead, it’s the goings-on in Room 644 that have ghost hunters itching to spend a night here. This is allegedly the most haunted part of the building, thanks to a nun who supposedly took her life here. People have reported seeing an apparition of a woman in the middle of the night here before. However, whether that’s true or not, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.
The Widow Grima
If it is ‘American Horror Story’ that’s attracted you to New Orleans’ rich history, then you can’t go here and not visit the Hermann-Grima house museum. This is where the scenes around Madame LaLaurie’s house were actually filmed, rather than in the exact property itself. Maybe the crew was too afraid of the alleged hauntings going on there to set themselves up in her old home. However, saying that, the Hermann-Grima house isn’t without its alleged ghost sightings either.
They may not be as prominent or terrifying as in other properties around the city, but they have been recorded nevertheless. For instance, people believe they’ve seen Anna Maria Filiosa Grima, a woman who passed away here in 1850, on several occasions. She supposedly comes out whenever the museum does a reenactment of her funeral, presumably to see who’s mourning her.
Voodoo is still alive
One of the storylines featured in the ‘Coven’ season of ‘American Horror Story’ focused on the battle between witchcraft and voodoo. As it turns out, this wasn’t completely fictional, at least in terms of the voodoo anyway. It’s something that’s been an important part of New Orleans for years, and it’s still alive and well today. The religion first found its footing in the late 1700s after people from Haiti moved to New Orleans to live freely.
Over the last few centuries, the voodoo practice has thrived in the city, to the point that many visitors now view it as trendy. However, it shouldn’t be seen as something to make money off of with tacky souvenirs and other gifts. After all, for many residents of New Orleans, it’s still their way of life.
Praising the Voodoo Queen
Someone who was incredibly prominent in the voodoo religion was Marie Laveau. Again, viewers of ‘American Horror Story’ will also remember her from the show, with the character portrayed by the iconic actress Angela Bassett. Unlike in the anthology horror series, though, Laveau isn’t still kicking around in the 21st century. She passed away back in 1881, nearly 130 years ago now.
Marie’s story goes that she developed a customer base of the elite and wealthy thanks to the relationships she had with their slaves. They’d tell her what was going wrong in people’s lives, and Laveau would show up with solutions to their problems. It’s not clear if this is actually true, but she’s still a voodoo legend regardless. That’s why it’s worth visiting her tomb and seeing how people continue to pay respect to her today.
Safe and secure
If you do visit Laveau’s tomb, you might notice something strange about the cemetery. It appears that a lot of people in New Orleans are buried differently from most other parts of the United States. Whereas it’s common for a simple tombstone to mark someone’s final resting place elsewhere, in the Louisiana city, things are a little grander. Here, you’re more likely to find tombs like this commemorating those who are no longer with us.
The coffins are slipped inside the monuments and sealed up, rather than being left in the ground. It’s quite a unique difference, and it often means there’s more to see when you visit a cemetery. However, that’s not the main reason why these tombs are so prevalent in New Orleans. It’s all to do with flooding.
Keeping the dead in their place
Flooding isn’t a particularly rare occurrence in New Orleans. Although the city isn’t overflowing all the time, the water table here is quite high. That means the soil gets saturated quite quickly and causes problems, even if there hasn’t been a significant amount of rainfall. This is a particular issue in cemeteries, where coffins are actually capable of being pushed out of the ground by the water.
Yes, despite being buried six feet underground, it’s possible for these caskets to rise to the surface once again. Obviously, the thought of someone’s loved one’s remains being tarnished like that isn’t pleasant, hence why the tombs are so common. Having the coffin buried above ground somewhere more secure means there’s less risk of floods dredging up caskets and washing them away.
Ready and waiting
Of all the things you might expect to find in New Orleans, Nicolas Cage’s tomb probably isn’t one of them. After all, the last time we checked, the actor was still alive and well. Thankfully, nothing has happened to the star that’s resulted in him meeting an early end. Cage has simply prepared his final resting place in advance so that he can be buried exactly where he wants to be.
The tomb is located in the same cemetery as Marie Laveau’s tomb, although his burial spot stands out a lot more than hers does. In fact, it’s the most eye-catching thing in the area because it’s taller, cleaner, and a completely different shape from all the other tombs around it. A resting place that stands out from the crowd is precisely what we’d expect from this man, though.
It’s all in the look
Mardi Gras wouldn’t be the same event if it weren’t for all those beads. Sure, their plastic design is an issue and something that needs to be worked on in the coming years. However, these beads add so much color to the festivities and give people something to strive for during the event. People are so passionate about the accessories that they’ve even found ways to work them into their outfits.
You can easily tell that these women are in New Orleans for Mardi Gras simply by looking at what they’re wearing. They went above and beyond to combine the beads with their costumes, and the effort definitely paid off. We just hope that no-one tried to pull their outfits apart in a desperate attempt to get more beads for themselves.
The kids love it
We’ve talked a lot about how Mardi Gras is an opportunity for people to drink too much and drown themselves in beads. However, although the festivities are largely designed for adults, parts of the event can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Quite a lot of parents will go to Mardi Gras with their kids, even if the little ones are relatively young. We can understand why.
After all, children generally love bright and colorful things, which summarises this event to a tee. There’s no reason that kids can’t enjoy the parade and get as passionate about collecting beads as everyone else. As long as they don’t do anything questionable to get their hands on the accessories, they should be allowed to have as much fun as all the other party-goers.
When we say that everyone gets to enjoy Mardi Gras, we mean everyone. Even half-human, half-unicorn hybrids are allowed to get in on the celebrations in New Orleans. Why shouldn’t they? Just because they’re a freakish combination of a real person and a mythical creature doesn’t mean they don’t know how to party. Of course, this particular hybrid seems to be taking a moment to chill out and enjoy a soda before getting involved in the action.
Well, given that Mardi Gras is an all-day event, you need to find time to relax eventually. Adrenaline might keep you going for so long, but you can’t stay in the party spirit forever. If you tried to, you’d probably end up passing out in the middle of the festivities, which wouldn’t be ideal.
Ever since the early ‘00s, reality shows have become a staple of television. We’ve reached the point now where you can find a program on pretty much anything, no matter how far-fetched it might seem. That’s why New Orleans has its own show in the form of ‘Swamp People.’ This series has been around since 2010, and it follows the activities of alligator hunters who live in the Atchafalaya River Basin swamps.
One of the biggest things to come out of Louisiana, the program has captivated viewers with its insight into the lives of people you’d probably never otherwise meet. Since ‘Swamp People’ launched, it’s broken records for the History Channel and attracted millions of viewers every episode. It’s even produced several spin-off mobile games, because why not? People simply love this incredible show.
It’s no surprise that they were able to make a show like ‘Swamp People’ given how many alligators there are in the waters around New Orleans. These animals are incredibly common in the South in general, to the point that they sometimes show up in places you don’t expect them to. New Orleans has a particular problem with this, with alligators occasionally appearing out of drains and emerging on the city streets.
It happened once back in 2017 following a heavy downpour in the area. Local residents were stunned when a seven-foot version of the creature wriggled its way out of the drain dangerously close to an elementary school. Luckily, no-one was in class at the time because it was a public holiday. So, officials were able to subdue and capture the creature without anyone being harmed.
It’s the small things that matter
There’s no such thing as normal when the Mardi Gras festivities are in full swing. Even the most ordinary things can be made fabulous as soon as the celebrations begin. Just look at this bike, for instance. On any other day, it wouldn’t be particularly remarkable. However, an extra effort was made to spice it up come the big event. Nearly every inch of the vehicle was covered in tinsel while the woman riding it handed out beads to the crowd.
It’s this dedication to flair and fabulousness on all the small things that make Mardi Gras so remarkable. Anywhere can have parades with big floats and crazy costumes, but New Orleans takes things to a whole other level. That’s what we always love to see whenever there’s a party.
The rightful heir to the throne
Whether you were a fan of the show or not, you had to have been living under a rock not to know about ‘Game of Thrones.’ It was the fantasy drama that captivated millions of viewers around the world, and which ultimately left a sour taste in people’s mouths once it was over. The controversial final season aside, though, this series was a big hit, and rightly so.
It was a phenomenon that lasted for years and had people of all ages raving about it. It’s no wonder, then, that someone decided to celebrate the show at Mardi Gras in their own special way. We think this is them saying that a pug should have taken to the Iron Throne at the end of the series, and we couldn’t agree more.
Just going for a nap
Do you know what’s not a good idea when you’re at Mardi Gras? Drinking too much and passing out while the party’s still in full swing. It happens to a lot of people during the festivities, and usually, no-one pays them any mind. However, if someone decides to let the drink get the best of them in the middle of the street, more often than not, they come to regret it.
That’s because another party-goer usually comes along and takes advantage of them sleeping on the floor. In this guy’s case, it appears like someone decided to leave this giant prop on top of him. Of course, they may have been doing him a kindness, because the bright colors probably alerted people that he was down there. That way, no-one stood on him while he was sleeping.
A fantasy map
There’s so much about New Orleans that makes it unique, right down to what it looks like on a map. If you’ve never seen the city from above, you may be rather surprised. It’s not the most conventional place in the world, with quite a few features making it stand out from the crowd. These were noticed by James Sutter, a co-creator of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
He analyzed various parts of the city’s map and referred to it as ideal for lovers of fantasy. That’s because there’s so much about it you’d never expect to find in real life. For instance, New Orleans contains a river that runs through a long, thin stretch of land without ever meeting the ocean until the very tip. It’s incredibly bizarre yet equally impressive.
That wasn’t the only thing that caught Sutter’s attention. He also noticed how the city appears to have a canal running through it that’s impossible linear. Despite the wonders of nature, the strip of water has apparently never lost it’s straight shape since it manifested in New Orleans. Sutter said it was like someone’s hand had slipped with the eraser tool and wiped a line off the map without proceeding to fix it.
We can certainly see where he’s coming from here because it’s hard to imagine any body of water naturally being that shape. This all just adds to the city’s charm, though. It might not have the most conventional map in the United States, but we wouldn’t love the place so much if it were just considered normal.
Baring it all
There is no dress code when it comes to Mardi Gras. The festivities probably wouldn’t be as fun if there were. The only clothes that you’re expected to wear are the ones that get you in the party spirit. That might mean donning a unicorn hood or dressing up like a flower – the choice is yours. Of course, some people would prefer not to wear any clothes at all, or at least only put on the bare minimum.
This party-goer certainly got into the spirit of that, choosing to wear only a bra during the celebrations. We’re not sure what everyone made of her going around in just a hat and tutu, but that’s Mardi Gras for you. Things like this should never come as a surprise.
Pregnant at the party
Who said that being pregnant means you have to put your partying days behind you? As long as you don’t drink anything you shouldn’t and don’t overdo things, you can enjoy all the celebrations that you want when you’re with child. No-one should have to miss Mardi Gras just because they’re pregnant, even if the festivities can get a little wild. These two are the perfect example of that, with both women putting their all into enjoying the event.
Not only did they get creative with their costumes – that piñata outfit is truly something – but they found a way to incorporate their baby bumps into them too. When we said that Mardi Gras was all about freedom of expression and getting creative, we weren’t kidding. These two truly outdid themselves here.
Dealing with the aftermath
We can say with absolute certainty that we don’t envy the people responsible for the cleanup operation after Mardi Gras. The festivities generate so much waste, with all those beads being just the tip of the iceberg. Not only do people have to dispose of thousands of these, but they also have to deal with all the other garbage too. Sights like this remind you of just how messy the celebrations can get, and they make you wonder what things need to change moving forward.
No-one wants to lose Mardi Gras after the incredible impact it’s had over the years. However, when this is the aftermath that gets left behind every year, it’s clear something needs to change before it’s too late. We don’t want this being the thing that ruins the festivities forever.
A city like no other
It’s pretty clear to see that New Orleans is a place like no other. While some of it’s most appealing elements might not be wholly unique to the city, nowhere else does them quite like here. From the food to the haunted houses to the rich history of voodoo, New Orleans is easily one of the most compelling spots in the whole of the United States.
What’s more, all of these incredible things are topped off by one of the biggest parties in the world. Mardi Gras is easily the shining star of this place, and while it continues to thrive, so too will the city. Even if it only comes around once a year, what it brings on that single day is enough to keep New Orleans flourishing month after month after month.