Sidelines Guidelines: How to celebrate Mardi Gras from home


Photo courtesy of Flickr

Story by Katrina Johnson / Contributing Writer

Fat Tuesday is here, but if you don’t have time to pack your bags and drive to New Orleans last minute, don’t fret. Mardi Gras is all about music, decorations, food and celebrating with the people around you, and those are things you can have in your very own home. Celebrating Mardi Gras doesn’t have to be difficult, and by viewing the guide below it can be made even easier. 

Decorations

Decorations are a must. I mean, it is Mardi Gras! Don’t be afraid to go all out, either. Fill your home with everything from shiny balloons to streamers of purple, green and gold. If you’re unsure of what the colors mean, know that purple stands for justice, green signifies faith and gold means power. Just locate the nearest convenience store carrying these decorations, and you’re half way to partying New Orleans-style.

Beaded Necklaces

You can’t throw a Mardi Gras party without the iconic, vibrant beads, even if it is a home-thrown party. For years krewe members wandered the crowd while on gigantic, flamboyant floats and would toss beads and other trinkets to parade-goers. If you don’t include beads in your celebration, did you even have a Mardi Gras party?

Jazz Music

If you’ve ever strolled the streets of New Orleans, you know that this city was built on jazz music; in fact, it’s the birthplace of jazz. So what better way to feel like you’re in “The Big Easy” than by blaring those brassy Louis Armstrong tunes?

Masks

Mardi Gras is the largest masked party in the entire country. Why do I tell you that? So you make sure to incorporate masks in your at-home celebration, that’s why! If you’re aiming to truly re-create your own New Orleans-themed party, you’ll have to get crafty. You could either transform a paper plate into a mask, or you could buy a plain mask at an arts and crafts store. Either way, you’re allowed to decorate the mask with bold colors, feathers, sequins and even glitter. Once that’s finished, wear the mask with confidence and let loose. When this tradition first began, masks were worn to escape both society and its class restraints, so wear it and be whoever you want for the night!

Po’Boys and King Cakes

What’s a party without food? Actually, what’s a Mardi Gras party without Southern fried Po’Boys and sweet desserts like King Cake, which stores a special surprise baby in one of its slices. Don’t freak out if you’re served the slice hiding the baby, though. It’s only a plastic one! If you are the lucky guest who receives the plastic baby, you get to bring the King Cake to the next Mardi Gras party. View a recipe of the King Cake here.

Dress Up

The final step to creating the perfect Mardi Gras party is to simply dress as you would if you were standing right in the heart of New Orleans celebrating the years-old tradition. Embrace the zany costumes — big hats, feathers, boas. Just be sure to stick mostly to the purple, green and gold colors! 

See, you don’t have to travel several hours to celebrate Fat Tuesday. The party can be just as fun spent at home if you let it. After all, it’s all what you make it. Happy Mardi Gras!

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life.

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