Celebrating Mardi Gras at home is easier than you think and this is how to turn your home into a tribute to the French Quarter.
It was announced back in November that Mardi Gras 2021 wouldn’t be celebrated exactly how many people are used to doing it. With the risk still too great to have crowds of people in the street celebrating the last indulgence before Lent, the city of New Orleans has since found new ways to commemorate the day by starting new traditions that will likely carry on for years to come. In addition to decorating houses and lawns as opposed to floats, there are many more ways that this epic tradition can be celebrated, many of which can be done easily from your own home.
A pandemic isn’t going to slow down a celebration that has been ongoing since the 1700s and despite the fact that our celebratory crowds are reduced to those within our own homes, the show must, and will, go on. From decorations to food and everything in between, these are all the best ways to pay tribute to a centuries-old celebration and a good time all around.
Start By Setting The Atmosphere
A huge part of Mardi Gras, and the first thing that many people notice when they celebrate it in New Orleans, is the extravagant decor and exciting atmosphere. With jazz music filling the air and dancing in the streets, it’s easy to see why a weekend spent in this city can quickly turn into the greatest, community-fueled time of your life.
In your own home, Mardi Gras-themed decorations and traditional Mardi Gras colors – gold, purple, and green – can set the stage for a similar, although a smaller, version of Bourbon Street or the French Quarter. Turn up that jazz music and put on your best dancing shoes because this is all necessary for an authentic experience! Check places such as Etsy for unique and stylish decorations and make sure to get some bead necklaces to wear for the occasion. Streamers, balloons, and confetti add to the 24/7 party atmosphere and enhance the overall feeling of the tradition.
Games, Making Masks, And Fun Are All Part Of Tradition
Mardi Gras always includes a good bit of fun and games and, luckily, these are all things that can also be done at home. Fat Tuesday is one of the biggest days of the celebration and this is also worthy of celebrating anywhere in the world, starting with some festive carnival masks that are fun (and easy) to craft.
With plenty of templates online, it’s easy enough to find ways to personalize and create masks that are fun and festive. You can even purchase masks for pretty cheap and dress them up with craft shop items such as feathers, gemstones, and glitter. Find some funky fun costumes to match and you’re in business! Spend the day playing fun board or card games and, for those who really want to get into the fun, try your hand at some Mardi Gras trivia – you’ll learn a lot about this celebration while having fun doing it.
Don’t Forget The Food, It’s The Most Important Part!
One of the best and most fun ways to celebrate a tradition such as this is through the food that goes with it. Mardi Gras is full of traditional Creole and New Orleans-specific dishes that taste amazing and will be a hit for the entire family (or your roommates or significant other, whoever you’re celebrating with!). For starters, whipping up some cloud-like and sweet beignets is a surefire way to start off your at-home Mardi Gras celebration with a bang. These are classically New Orleans and with a cup of coffee, they’re one of the best ways to start off the day.
Follow that up with some shrimp po’boys – they’re easy to make and who doesn’t love a good seafood sandwich? With some easy mayo dressing, coleslaw, and tangy pickles, these sandwiches are a winner all the way around. Jumbalaya is an adventurous way to jazz up any Mardi Gras celebration and with this stew-like dish simmering on the stovetop all day, the house will smell just like the restaurants in New Orleans. And, of course, no Mardi Gras is complete without traditional drinks – a Hurricane is classic and pretty easy to make, with two types of rum and a triple round of cocktail juices. This drink will make you forget about any potential winter weather and will instead have you thinking of the south, with its bright sunshine, gorgeous beaches, and, of course, its contagious energy. For a family-friendly celebration, mocktails can easily replace actual drinks.
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