The date is always on Tuesday and can vary from February 3 to
March 9 in non-leap years or February 4 to March 9 in leap
years. Like Lent, the date is dependent on that of Easter.
The two explorers eventually found the mouth of the Mississippi River, sailed a while upstream and named the spot Point du Mardi Gras (French: "Mardi Gras Point") 60 miles downriver from present-day New Orleans. In 1699, the traditional Catholic celebration ensued leading to what many refer to as "North America's first Mardi Gras".
1723, the capital of Louisiana was moved, due to fear
of tides and
hurricanes, to an inland harbor town founded
called "Nouvelle-Orléans" (New
Orleans), and the tradition, which had started 20 years
earlier in Mobile, was expanded. Carnival celebrations took place in all towns and
cities in the colony. Mardi Gras Carnival celebrations
became an annual event highlighted by lavish balls and
masked spectacles, such as Masque de la Mobile from
Some were small, private parties with select guest-lists,
while others were raucous, public affairs. More
Mardigrasday.com the official web site for Mardi Gras.
King Rex selected the official Mardi Gras colors in 1872. The 1892 Rex Parade theme Symbolism of Colors gave meaning to the colors: purple represents justice; green represents faith; and gold represents power.