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How to use the traditional colors for your Mardi Gras celebration

Posted by Mark Cohen on

Not all of us can afford to travel to the unofficial center of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Sure, they have parties, parades, and carnival celebrations in the streets to participate Mardi Gras. Like those celebrants, we can commemorate Mardi Gras too, here in our own home town. Simple and colorful, make sure you don or decorate in the traditional purple, green and gold.  These colors were selected way back by the King of the Carnival and chosen for the symbolism of these colors. Purple stood for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. These "official" colors were then incorporated into anything associated with Mardi Gras like necklaces and beads, costumes/body paint/tattoos, and floats to fireworks displays and food decorations. Usually, to get into the festive Mardi Gras spirit, the more anything flashes or sparkles the better. These colors, either together or separately, represent the very spirit of Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras apparel includes costumes with hats, traditional beaded necklaces and masks. For the much bolder, body paint can be used. The fleur de lis is also used a lot in Mardi Gras jewelry.

1. Mardi Gras Purple


The color purple is symbolic of justice, and what is “right”.  It seems to lead the color schemes of Mardi Gras with its dark rich color. No lavenders here, this color purple is usually deep and bold.

2. Mardi Gras Green

The color green is used as a symbol of faith. As in the case with the dark purple, Mardi Gras greens tend to be darker and brighter rather then pastel. Deep emerald and kelly greens are perfect.

3. Mardi Gras Gold

The color gold symbolizes power. Bright and shiny, bold and dazzling, this seems to be a very prominent Mardi Gras color. From bright yellow to a rich vibrant bronzy gold, this color enlivens any Mardi Gras accessory.

Oh, and don't forget, that King Cakes are also traditional fare for Mardi Gras. These cakes, with the famous “Baby Jesus” baked inside, can also have the traditional purple, green and gold frosting or sugar sprinkles.

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