Mardi Gras is an incredible, unbelievable event that somehow defies expectations in impossible ways while simultaneously meeting those expectations as well. It is both a hedonistic city wide festival that is also capable of family oriented fun. I've lived an entire life loving Mardi Gras, from my earliest possible memories to adulthood(even some nights I will never remember.) I once got lost during The Rex parade on Mardi Gras day when I was small enough to only see the tops of floats, streetlights and the backs of knees. Years later I would somehow stumble from my older sister's house on Carondelet Street to the nearest liquor store for Jack Daniels with absolutely no recollection of that night.* I say this all to say that Mardi Gras or New Orleans Carnival season is hands down my favorite time of the year, and has been my whole existence.
I grew up believing that Mardi Gras was a nationwide holiday, and that every kid in America got a random week off just to go to parades, and catch beads, toys, cool cups and moon pies. Mardi Gras became a completely different occasion once I reached adulthood though. It became a mischievous holiday where I could escape the everyday grind of work, and return home to refill myself energetically before I returned to my day to day life in Atlanta. This experience is not unique though. Mardi Gras is a cherished time for people around the world for many different reasons, and it is a time that is surely missed this year.
The saddest part when remembering Mardi Gras currently is that last year we had no idea. No idea that it would be the last large-scale event in New Orleans. No idea that our entire world would be turned upside down. For me personally it would be the last time I would go home, and visit family that I've grown accustomed to seeing at least 4 to 5 times a year. It may be hard to imagine all of these emotions if you've never personally experienced the magic of Mardi Gras. Thankfully the talented people at Newtral Groundz have put together an exceptional documentary that captures these feelings perfectly called Missing Mardi Gras.
Thank you for reading. Enjoy Missing Mardi Gras. And hopefully see you at a parade next Carnival season. February 21, 2022 is only 370 days away, and counting.
*This really did happen, but it's a long story. I may share as a little extra if you know where to find it.