The story of Mardi Gras originates in present-day Italy. Emerging millennia before pagan spring rites and fertility rites, the holiday has grown into a modern look in strongly Catholic countries. Also known in many parts of the world as a carnival, the holiday takes place just before Lent and is celebrated before the season of fasting and repentance.
In the United States, the holiday is located in New Orleans. Thousands of revelers gather on the streets each year for a celebration that includes swimming, mask-balls and general fun. The origins of the holiday in the United States date back to American independence. As Mardi Gras has evolved over the years, many of its historical landmarks have reflected American society and geopolitical events, and the colors of Shrovetide emerged as a result of a visit by, for example, a Russian duke and first African American king and queen. Mardi Gras was crowned just before the civil rights movement.
Using primary and secondary historical sources, Contributor has collected key moments in the history of Mardi Gras over the years. Click to see in more detail where this holiday started and how it evolved to keep up with the times.
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