Ancient Roots, Modern Holidays for Kids - Mardi Gras
For Kids: Mardi Gras started out as a religious holiday. Today, it is more of a secular holiday, having little to do with the church. Mardi Gras has roots in ancient Greek and in ancient Roman festivals with masks as part of the celebration, and is still a tradition of Mardi Gras festivities - secret identiies.
Mardi Gras is full of traditions. For nearly two hundred years, colored beads and fake gold doubloons have been thrown to the crowd watching the Mardi Gras parade. Groups called "krewes" each build a float for the parade, working on their float nearly all year long in preparation for the parade.
A special cake recipe is made called the King Cake. It is iced with the colors of Mardi Gras - purple, green, and gold.
Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in French. The last night of Mardi Gras is the night of feasting on rich, fatty foods.
Mardi Gras is celebrated in many cities in the United States. The biggest and most famous celebration is in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is also celebrated internationally in cities in South America, Europe, and other parts of the world.