8 Fun Ways to Celebrate Mardi Gras in Your Classroom
Let’s celebrate Mardi Gras this year! I think introducing children to celebrations around the world help them to become global citizens and see beyond the reality that is their home community. I think there is nothing more fun than learning about culture and our world.
I did some research, since Mardi Gras is not a holiday we celebrate here in New York. I want to share with you the history and some activities you can implement in your classroom.
History of Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is well-known to be celebrated in New Orleans, the first time it has been celebrated can be traced back to Rome in the middle of the second century. At that time, it was a celebration where everyone put on masks and praised Bacchus and Venus while having various parties before they would abstain from them during Lent.
The holiday reached the United States first on March 3, 1699 due to French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. He camped 60 miles downriver and held a small gala there. A few years later, French settlers started celebrating it in Mobile, a newly founded city located in present-day Alabama. During 1762 to 1800, there were several efforts to prohibit having masked balls and public disguises by the Spanish during their colonization of New Orleans. However, it was then saved as the Mistick Krewe of Comus held a parade in 1857 and put the city on the map.
The festival is usually celebrated on Fat Tuesday but can be celebrated two weeks or more. Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent, where Christians abstain from forms of excess as a form of repentance for 40 days. During these days, people would hold parades, have parties, and dance to music. Mardi Gras, literarily translates to Fat Tuesday in French.
8 Ideas to Celebrate Fat Tuesday in the Classroom
Now that we have covered where the holiday came from, here are the activities I can recommend to hold your own Mardi Gras celebration with your students.