Mardi Gras, like many other holidays, is going to look a little different this year. The annual event, also known as Fat Tuesday, can be an entire season that stretches from Twelfth Night (last night of the Christmas season, beginning on Epiphany) to Ash Wednesday, but it really comes together in the last few days, particularly in places like New Orleans. This year, celebrations will have to be a little subdued thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still a few Mardi Gras traditions you can take part in safely at home.
1. Mardi Gras Ball
It might not be the intense Mardi Gras celebration put on by a krewe, but you can still throw a Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball at home. Dress up as a debutante, make some Cajun food, and get everyone in the house in on drinking, dancing, revelry, and more, and your Mardi Gras festivities will be ones to remember. The debauchery of Bourbon Street doesn't have to come to your living room for you to have a good time, whether you're celebrating Mardi Gras New Orleans-style or not.
2. Mardi Gras Color Scheme
The traditional colors of Carnival are purple, green, and gold. This year, why not decorate your house like you're in the middle of the French Quarter in Louisiana by getting a bunch of doubloons, plastic beads, and other trinkets in that color scheme, and get everyone in your family to dress up like you're part of the Krewe of Comus or Zulu?
3. King Cakes
You can obviously still make a King Cake, complete with plastic baby, this carnival season, even if you're not enjoying the delightful celebration ahead of Easter and Lent in a place like New Orleans or Alabama, where Mardi Gras is, well, king. There are plenty of King Cake recipes online -- you could even have a contest among your family members to see who can make the best one!
4. Mardi Gras Parade
OK, so it won't be the lavish affair many are used to, with throngs of revelers, flambeaux, massive parade floats, and more, but you can throw a little Mardi Gras parade in your neighborhood. Best of all, it's a socially-distancing approved activity!
5. Making Masks
Even if you're not celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you can still bring this last tradition home. Making masks can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be, and is a particularly fun idea if you've got kids to entertain. So break out the crafts and get to work!