The day after Mardi Gras, and the first day of Lent.
affairs held by prominent New Orleans families and formal Carnival
organizations (Krewes). Few Krewes sell tickets to Balls, most are by invitation only.
Bouef Gras: The
fatted ox or bull that symbolizes the last meat eaten before Lent, and has
been a part of pre-Lenten celebrations since the Middle Ages. Bouef
Gras, symbolized by a giant, paper-mache ox on a float, is a traditional part of the Rex parade.
head of a Carnival organization. Captains get to ride in a place of
honor in the parade, but their identity usually remains a secret. Unlike
Kings and Queens who change from year to year, Captains usually hold
their honor for many years.
Carnival: A term
meaning, "removal of the flesh." The "flesh" is
considered the meat that is forsaken for Lent. The Carnival
season lasts from Jan. 6 (twelfth night) to Mardi Gras (Fat
The last day of the Carnival season. This occurs on Fat Tuesday (Mardi
Courir Du Mardi Gras:
A Cajun Mardi Gras celebration where costumed men ride horseback throughout
the countryside collecting rice, chicken and other ingredients for gumbo that
is served at a celebration afterward. Practiced in several
small towns in Louisiana.
Special coins thrown by Carnival organizations during parades, usually bearing the name
of the Carnival organization.
Burning torches mounted on poles, usually wooden, that are carried and often
twirled in some night parades.
King Cake: A
cake similar to a Danish pastry and made in the shape of a ring. The cake
contains a plastic doll, and the person who finds the doll must provide the
cake the following year.
organizations participating in the carnival. Not all carnival
organizations are known officially as Krewes, however. One parading organization
that fits into this category is Rex.
Ladders: Step ladders
to get a better view of the parade, usually with seats bolted to the tops so
kids can be easy targets for parade throws; often dangerous if safety
precautions aren't taken.
"Fat Monday," or the day before Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).
People who wear masks or full costumes for Mardi Gras; also applies to float
riders in parades.
Rex: Rex is a large, parading organization from the School of Design. Rex is
also known as,
"Rex, King of Carnival."
tossed from a parade float, such as cups, toys, doubloons and beads.
The route for most night parades. It encompasses
Napoleon Avenue, St. Charles Avenue, and Canal Street, then ends at the
Zulu: A large
and well-known African-American Carnival organization, know especially for the
King of Zulu and giving painted coconuts to parade spectators.