Carnival season is rolling throughout the state of Louisiana and Gulf Coast regions. Dark clouds rolled in this morning, but a positive party attitude prevails victorious at Mardi Gras. The spirit, tradition, customs, pomp and circumstance of Carnival in Louisiana began with the clubs and carnival organizations formed in the greater New Orleans area over one hundred and fifty years ago. Fat Tuesday is the last day of the Carnival season culminating weeks of celebrated indulgence. In honor of the history and recorded beginnings, this year’s annual Places In The Home Mardi Gras post takes a look at Mardi Gras historical musings and Rex, King of Carnival.
Rex, the King of Carnival~
The Krewe of Rex is one of the oldest krewes of Mardi Gras. Established in 1872, Rex continues to reign as the King of Carnival. The origin of inspiration for the official colors of Mardi Gras points to the official green, purple and gold colors of Rex. Rex established the color palette of Carnival, and it’s the party favor that keeps on giving. Strong, bold and vibrant colors take center court as king in the Mardi Gras krewe of décoration.
Leave no stone, house, balcony, courtyard, fence, tree, ladder, person, or architectural element unturned or undecorated in the name of all that is ornate, ostentatious and wildly extravagant. Show your colors- it’s Carnival and it shows throughout the cities, towns, villages and parishes of Louisiana.
The more things change the more traditions and symbols stay the same. Parades, beads, throws, masks, costumes, libations, meals fit for kings, queens and royal court jesters, crowns, scepters and Boeuf Gras – the roots of the Krewe of Rex and Mardi Gras run deep through the years of royal good times, traditional splendor and joyous revelry.
A grand bacchanal, Mardi Gras attracts over one million people to the Greater New Orleans area. Rex issues his Official Proclamation of Carnival, inviting his subjects to gather together to celebrate. With a symbolic key to the city in Rex’s hand, the Rex parade rolls on Fat Tuesday to the beat and bellows of throw me something, mister. Contrary to popular belief, Mardi Gras is not just an all or nothing peep show throw down. It’s a celebration of many masked facets, one easily customized to the laissez le bon temps rouler side of the revelers brain. We’ve rolled with the family flow on St. Charles Avenue and seasoned our celebration with a dash of naughty in the French Quarter. Culinary and historical debauchery is on Krewe control, and family oriented fun is a neighborhood parade route away.
Let the good times and the Krewe of Rex parade roll.