Ultimate Mardi Gras: Twenty Travel, Food, & Cocktail Ideas
Mardi Gras is coming on March 5th. Are you ready to let the good times roll, or as they say in New Orleans “laissez les bons temps rouler”? Whether you are traveling somewhere to celebrate carnival or making your own festivities at home, here are twenty ultimate Mardi Gras travel, food, & cocktail ideas to help you party in style!
Ultimate Mardi Gras
Did you know carnival is Latin for farewell to meat? Lent is the time before Easter where Roman Catholics and other Christians give up “indulgences” during the Lenten season, including meat on Fridays. To prepare, pre-Lenten celebrations take place all over the world on Fat Tuesday, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the official start of the pre-Easter season of Lent. Some of the world’s most famous carnivals actually start a few weeks before Ash Wednesday, including the Venice carnival in Italy, Rio De Janeiro carnival in Brazil, Binche carnival in Belgium, and of course the world famous Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) carnival has been celebrated in Louisiana since at least 1699, but the first “official” parade was held in New Orleans in 1837. Today, New Orleans is known for the colorful city-wide Mardi Gras celebrations that start the week leading up to Fat Tuesday. Festivities include masquerade balls, parties, and elaborate parades featuring floats with krewe members that toss treats of plastic beads, doubloons (small coins), moon pies, and other items to waiting crowds. The masquerade balls and parades incorporate ornate costumes with masks, feathers, and beads, in Traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, gold, and purple. Mardi Gras is also the time to indulge in authentic cajun and creole cuisine, including jambalaya, gumbo, and king cake. It is the ultimate party!
If you are planning a trip to New Orleans or Quebec for Mardi Gras, here are some expert tips to celebrate the sights, sounds, colors, and flavors of the Big Easy. We also have ideas for day trips from New Orleans, as well as a hotel in Lake Pontchartrain for a family-friendly Mardi Gras fun. Don’t want to venture south? Quebec City hosts a fabulous carnival celebration as well and we have tips this carnival as well!
Perhaps you would prefer to stay home and host your own Mardi Gras celebration? Grab some beads and doubloons and get ready to feast, because we have recipes and food tips for entreés and desserts (including the famous king cake), and even a few cocktail/mocktail ideas.
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Easy Gumbo Recipe (Instant Pot version)
Let's eat! This gumbo can be made in the Instant Pot.
Quick and Easy Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
This easy jambalaya recipe has the added kick of chicken and sausage!
This jambalaya is quick and easy to make!
Serve this Cajun Crawfish Etouffee for Mardi Gras
How about some crawfish etouffee? Tres bien!
New Orleans Hot Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe
This scrumptious muffuletta sandwich is zesty and flavorful!
Easy Beignet Bites - recipe by Jen Goode
Time for dessert! These mini beignets are a light and fluffy sweet bite!
Mardi Gras Chocolate-Dipped Cookies
Don't these cookies look fun and festive?
Celebrate Mardi Gras: Make a King Cake
This recipe is a traditional king cake...
Easy and Best King Cake Recipe using Refrigerated Dough
...this King Cake is made with refrigerated dough...
Gluten Free Mini King Cakes
...and these individual King Cakes are gluten free!
Bananas Foster Cocktail
A festive cocktail celebrating one of New Orleans most famous desserts.
French 75 Cocktail Recipe + Free NOLA Mardi Gras Museum
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Julie Cohn is the writer/publisher of A Cork, Fork, & Passport, a food and travel lifestyle site. She is also the director of Chapter Two Collective Media.