While Mardi Gras may be canceled this year, not all Mardi Gras celebrations have been called off. One of the most festive and delicious traditions of Mardi Gras, king cake, has not been canceled and citizens of New Orleans could not be more excited. No Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without the stateliest cake of them all. Additionally, residents of Nola have found other ways to keep Carnival alive with house decorating. Today, we go over how Nola is keeping the Mardi Gras spirit alive.
Mardi Gras House Floats Pop Up Around New Orleans and the Northshore
Although Mardi Gras parades have been cancelled, residents of New Orleans and the Northshore are transforming their homes into parade floats to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive. The “house float” movement began once Mardi Gras parades were called off and will continue until February 16 when Mardi Gras starts. People are also hiring out-of-work Carnival artists hit by the parade cancellations to help with decorating. Many are also hiring local artists to decorate their homes, which kicked off a “Hire a Mardi Gras Artist” crowdfunded lottery.
Nola residents are enjoying decorating their houses for Mardi Gras so much that they anticipate continuing this tradition every year.
Nola Residents Continue on with the King Cake Tradition
The King Cake is said to have originated in Old World France and Spain and came to be associated with the eight-day Feast of Epiphany during the Middle Ages. When it was brought over to the New World, the tradition continued to evolve. In NOLA, king cake and Mardi Gras go hand in hand. The cakes are baked in early January and are available until Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. It is a tradition to put a plastic baby inside the cake – a modern tradition we can thank New Orleans for. The individual who “finds” the plastic baby must host the next Mardi Gras celebration.
Many bakeries are continuing the tradition of making king cakes, which can be purchased online. Additionally, Nola residents themselves are bringing out their baking pans and flour to bake their own king cakes and frost them in Mardi Gras colors.
Celebrate Mardi Gras From Home Safely
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has offered ways to help keep you and your loved ones safe while you celebrate Mardi Gras from home. These tips include the following:
- Cover up your mouth and nose when you are not eating or drinking.
- Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before enjoying your favorite Mardi Gras food. If this is not accessible, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol in it.
- Keep your distance. If you decide to venture out during Carnival or any other time, make sure you are at least 6 feet apart from anyone that is not a part of your household to lower your risk of contracting the coronavirus.