New Orleans Mardi Gras Festival
Customize your itinerary
Arriving on flight from
Arrival date at destination
Travel class
Number of rooms
Room 1 occupancy
Adults:
Children:
New Orleans Mardi Gras Festival

Each year during Mardi Gras, approximately 1.4 million visitors take to the streets of New Orleans to participate in the city’s iconic Fat Tuesday parades and festivities. There is a story and a purpose behind everything you’ll experience during Carnival Time – from the king cake you’ll eat to the flambeaux who light the parades at night. The legacy of Mardi Gras can be traced to European Carnival celebrations during the 17th and 18th centuries. Carnival has traditionally been celebrated as a debaucherous prelude to Lent, a six-week-long religious fast observed before Easter.

Carnival celebrations officially start on January 6, a date referred to in the Christian calendar as the Twelfth Night because it marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (and hence the holiday season). Every year, Carnival season kicks off on this date at sundown, followed by a weeks-long schedule of lively parades and street parties put on across the city by famous Mardi Gras krewes and New Orleans marching bands. The festivities continue on weekends and various weekdays until Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, which falls on a different day each year. This year it will fall on 25 February 2020.

Highlights
Flambeaux
Flambeaux
The flambeaux tradition dates back to 1857 - during the first Mardi Gras. Wooden torches wrapped in rags were lit and used to guide parade routes during the night. Torches carried now are lighter and safer, the tips have gone from pennies to dollars, and the entertaining exchange between the crowd and the flambeaux carriers remains a rich Carnival tradition.
Mardi Gras Indians
Mardi Gras Indians
One of the most mysterious, fascinating and colorful pieces of New Orleans’ cultural quilt belongs to Mardi Gras Indians. A unique and historic subculture of New Orleans, Mardi Gras Indians and their traditions date back to the 1800s when Native Americans helped shield runaway slaves. Mardis Gras Indian culture is influenced by both ancestral enslaved Africans and the friendship forged with Native Americans.
Kings Cake
Kings Cake
The name “king cake” comes from the Biblical story of the three kings who bring gifts to Baby Jesus. A blend of coffee cake and cinnamon roll, king cake is usually iced in yellow, green and purple – the colors of Mardi Gras -- and is frequently packed with fruit fillings and decadent cream cheeses. Hidden within these season sweets also lie a special surprise: a plastic king cake baby to continue the fun. Whoever finds it must either bring the next cake or throw a party, thus sparking an unending round of food and fun.
Mardi Gras Balls
Mardi Gras Balls
Some of the most glittering spectacles of Mardi Gras happen behind closed doors at grand balls thrown by krewes for their members and lucky guests. While most balls are invitation-only, a select few are open to the public.

Address
Corporate Head Office:
745 Fifth Avenue
Suite 500 New York
NY 10151
Main Booking Office:
88 King St # B
Northampton
MA 01060
Call us
646 360 1200 | 917 477 7500
Email us
infousa@wutravels.com
Agents and affiliates