How to Celebrate Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is one of the most well known and exciting festivals of the year. While Mardi Gras is celebrated all over the world, the most famous Mardi Gras happens in New Orleans, where weeks of parties and parades culminate on Fat Tuesday. But even if can’t make it to Nola, you and your friends can make a Mardi Gras celebration of your own!

EditGoing to a Mardi Gras Celebration
Find out when Fat Tuesday is this year. Fat Tuesday is the last and most festive day of the Mardi Gras celebration. It is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of the Catholic celebration of Lent. Depending on the year, it can fall on any Tuesday between February 3rd and March 9th.[1]
Some people make their plans for Mardi Gras years in advance. Here is a list of Fat Tuesday dates through 2027: 2019 – March 5; 2020 – Feb. 25; 2021 – Feb. 16; 2022 – March 1; 2023 – Feb. 21; 2024 – Feb. 13; 2025 – March 4; 2026 – Feb. 17; 2027 – Feb. 9 [2]

Make your travel and accommodation plans early. During the week before Mardi Gras, the population of New Orleans doubles! If you are planning to go to New Orleans, book your plane tickets and hotels well in advance. [3]
There are Mardi Gras parades in cities all around the world.[4] Ask around or use a search engine to find out if there are parades or organized celebrations near your hometown.

Make a plan for your trip. All Mardi Gras celebrations are not the same, and your Mardi Gras will probably be more fun if you know what kind of experience you’re looking for. Do you want to be with other tourists stumbling drunk around the French Quarter in New Orleans? That’s okay, but you might be missing out on very different local celebrations around the city.[5]
There will be a different character in different parts of New Orleans and at different events, reflecting the style and values of the krewes that organize them. You can find a list and description of the more established krewes and on

Dress to be a part of the “Greatest Free Show on Earth.” Mardi Gras is a celebration that swallows the whole of New Orleans, and if you’re there, you are a part of it. So paint your face, wear a mask, and dress for the celebration.
The official colors of Mardi Gras are gold, purple, and green. Try to incorporate these colors into your clothes or makeup.

Watch or join a parade. On Fat Tuesday, and in the weeks leading up to it, there are dozens of different parades organized by “krewes” throughout New Orleans. Most of these parades will be advertised in advance, and listed here:
Get to the parade route early! Bring food for a picnic and folding chairs to sit on.

In New Orleans, there is a tradition of bringing decorated ladders for children to sit on so they can get a great view.

It will be very crowded! If you go with friends, pick a time and place to meet up if you get separated. You might say: “If we can’t find each other, meet at the front gates of Louis Armstrong park on the hour.” That way, no matter what time of day you get lost, you’ll know when and where to be.

Catch “throws” and try to get a Mardi Gras Coconut. Along their parade route, different krewes will throw items to onlookers. These are called “throws.” Different throws can be beads, plastic cups, coins with the krewe’s logo on it, gold-painted walnuts, and the most prized throw, the Mardi Gras coconut.[6]
You may collect all sorts of souvenirs throughout the day, so bring a bag or backpack to keep your hands free.

Celebrate your catches, and compliment others on their catches.

EditThrowing Your Own Mardi Gras Party
Send out decorative invitations. Sure, you can just text your friends and invite them over, but if you want this to be a special party, put some time into making special invitations. You can buy pre-made Mardi Gras cards in some stores or online. But if you have the time, try making your own invitations.
Encourage your guests to dress up and wear masks in the invitation, so they have time to get creative with their costumes.

Try having a costume contest. Let your guests know they will vote on their favorite costume and declare the winners the King and/or Queen of your krewe.

You’ll want these to go out a few weeks in advance so your friends know about it and don’t make other plans.

Make a Mardi Gras playlist. Mardi Gras is a musical celebration, and having the right sound will get you and your guests in the mood. Search around the internet for compilations and pre-made Mardi Gras playlists. Musical styles to look for include Zydeco, Brass, Bounce, and Gypsy jazz.[7]
To get a feel for what to put on your playlist, listen to some classic Mardi Gras songs in the video below.

Prepare traditional Mardi Gras foods and drinks. Having the right food and drinks will make this a unique celebration for your guests — especially if they are not the things they normally encounter. Some customary Mardi Gras foods are King Cake, Po Boys, and red beans and rice. If your party will have alcohol, try making Mardi Gras Martinis and Sazerac cocktails.

Make your own masks, costumes, and throws. A great Mardi Gras party will feel like you and your guests have entered another world, one of music, celebration, and mystery. Invite your friends to wear costumes and their own masks, or supply them with craft materials to decorate masks at the party.
Find some beads, coins, or just about anything you want to decorate and turn it into your krewe’s unique throw.

Set the mood. Decorate your house, or wherever the party is, with gold, purple, and green. Turn on the music just before guests arrive so that they will walk into a party atmosphere.

Lead a parade. If there’s no Mardi Gras parade in your city, maybe your party will be the first! Have the King and/or Queen of your costume party lead your guests around your neighborhood. Have your friends bring instruments, or bring a portable sound system along, and spread some Mardi Gras spirit!
Decide if you want to have a permitted parade or an unpermitted one. Both kinds happen in New Orleans.[8] If you decide to get permits, you’ll have to plan in advance and abide by your cities codes. If you decide to have an unpermitted one, you and your friends should know that there are risks associated with noise ordinances and other laws.

Dance and have fun. No matter how beautiful your decorations or tasty your King Cake, Mardi Gras is about celebration. So have a good time and share some joy with your friends.

If you are going to New Orleans, try to arrive a whole week early and see the parades that most people miss.

Bring or rent a bike in New Orleans. It will be much easier than trying to get around by car or public transport.

Don’t pressure people to expose themselves in exchange for beads. While this has become a sort of “tradition,” it creates a degrading and intimidating atmosphere for women.

EditThings You’ll Need
Food and drinks

Masks and costumes




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Today in History for 3rd March 2019

Historical Events

1812 – US passes 1st foreign aid bill (aids Venezuela earthquake vicitims)
1838 – Rebellion at Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada
1911 – 1st US federal cemetery with Union and Confederate graves opens, Missouri
1956 – Dutch swimmer Cockie Gastelaars breaks 20-year old world record for 100m freestyle (1:04.2)
1976 – 5 workers are killed by the police in a demonstration in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
1979 – 26th ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament: North Carolina beats Duke, 71-63

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1907 – Aar van de Werfhorst, [Pieter G Jansen], Dutch writer
1921 – Diana Barrymore, American actress (Nightmare, Lady Courageous, Fired Wife), born in NYC, New York (d. 1960)
1949 – Bonnie J Dunbar, Sunnyside Wash, PhD/astro (STS 61-A, 32, 50, 71, 89)
1953 – Aleksandr Viktorovich Borodin, Russian cosmonaut
1968 – Scott Radinsky, Simi Valley CA, pitcher (LA Dodgers)
1979 – Alex Zane, English comedian

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1927 – J.G. Parry-Thomas, Welsh motor-racing driver (b. 1884)
1966 – Alice Pearce, American comedienne and actress (On the Town, Bewitched), dies from ovarian cancer at 48
1969 – Fred Alexander, American tennis player (Australasian C’ship 1908, 5-time US Indoor winner), dies at 88
1994 – Mauritius van Haegendoren, Flemish historian and senator, dies at 90
1999 – Gerhard Herzberg, German-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
2017 – Misha Mengelberg, Dutch jazz pianist and composer (Reconstruction), dies at 81

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Get Over a Bad Day

Whether your day was messed up by one terrible incident or a series of minor annoyances, a bad day can leave you feeling sad, anxious, and stressed out. You can start to get yourself back on track after a bad day by taking a little time to deal with your feelings. Help yourself feel better physically and emotionally by practicing self-care and doing something relaxing. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend, a family member, or a professional if you need a little extra support.

EditDealing with Negative Feelings
Focus on your physical senses if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. It’s important to give yourself time to process the negative feelings you are experiencing. As soon as you’re able to do so, take a few minutes to just breathe and focus on what you are seeing, smelling, feeling, and hearing. This will help ground you in the present moment and break the cycle of stress and anxiety.[1]
If you can, find a quiet space where you can be by yourself, without distractions.

Reflect on your emotions without judgment. It’s okay to feel upset when you’re having a bad day. Instead of ignoring your emotions or trying to make yourself cheer up, take a moment to identify and acknowledge what you’re feeling. Putting a name to your feelings can help them seem less overwhelming.[2]
For example, you might think to yourself, “I’m feeling disappointed and mad at myself for getting a bad grade on that assignment.”

Don’t try to judge or analyze your feelings—for example, don’t tell yourself, “It’s ridiculous to be so upset about this!” Just make note of your feelings and let them be.

Try to identify the source of your negative feelings. Reflect on the negative feelings you are experiencing and think about what could have triggered your bad day. Was it stress at work? Anxiety over a test? Frustration towards someone you know? Try to label the source of your bad day in 3 words or fewer. For example: “frustration with Lisa” or “stress from clients”.[3]
Studies show that the simple act of putting your feelings into words can dramatically reduce the effect of those feelings.[4]

Acknowledge that not all bad days have an obvious cause. Sometimes you may experience days when you feel down, anxious, or exhausted for no apparent reason. This is especially true if you struggle with issues like depression or anxiety. If this happens to you, remind yourself that you don’t need a reason to feel bad—some days are just more difficult than others. If you can’t identify a reason for your mood, focus instead on helping yourself feel better in the moment.[5]
For example, you might have a drink of water or eat a healthy snack. If you’re tired, take a brief break from whatever you’re doing and rest.

You can also try a few simple stress-relieving activities, like going for a walk, meditating, or doing a little yoga.

Share your feelings with someone you trust. It may be tempting to keep your dark mood to yourself, especially in a busy communal environment like the office or the classroom. However, connecting with other people when you’re down can help you feel better.[6]
Reach out to a friend, loved one, or trusted colleague. Say something like, “Hey, I’m having a rough day. Mind if I vent a bit?”

Remind yourself that what you’re experiencing is temporary. When you’re in the middle of a bad day, it’s easy to feel like things will be terrible forever. However, remember that this bad day will not last forever, and neither will the things you are feeling right now.[7]
Just because a bad experience is temporary does not mean your feelings about it at the time aren’t valid. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself time to be upset.

You might tell yourself something like, “This day has been awful and I feel really down about it right now, but today won’t last forever.” Try to view tomorrow as an opportunity to start fresh.

EditPracticing Stress-Relieving Activities
Do deep breathing exercises. Breathing deeply can signal your brain and body to relax, instantly helping you feel a little better when you’re under stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or upset, take 3 to 10 deep, controlled breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe so that your belly expands, rather than your chest.[8]
If you can, find a quiet place to sit or lie down while you breathe. Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest so that you can feel the motions of your body. Close your eyes and focus on the physical sensations of breathing.

If you have the time, you can also try more advanced breathing exercises. For example, try slowly breathing in for 4 counts, holding your breath for 7 counts, and breathing out for 8 counts. Repeat this process 3 to 7 times.

Focus on a creative activity. Creative activities are not only calming, but they can be a healthy outlet for your feelings and frustrations.[9] If you’re having a bad day, try to set aside a few minutes to do something expressive, whether it’s drawing, knitting, writing, or playing an instrument.
Even if you don’t consider yourself the artistic type, you can still get stress-relieving benefits from simple activities like coloring, doodling, or doing paint-by-numbers.

You could also write down your feelings in a journal.[10] It doesn’t have to be anything polished or profound—just getting your feelings out on the page in a few words can help them feel more manageable.

Take a little time to do something you enjoy. Treating yourself to something fun can do a lot to lift your spirits and help you feel better after a stressful day. If you can, set aside at least a few minutes to do something that reliably cheers you up. This could be anything from watching a video that always makes you laugh to buying a favorite snack.[11]
If you’re not sure what might help, try making a list of 5 simple, easily attainable things that you always enjoy. For example, your list could include things like “reading some of my favorite book” or “playing through a level of a video game that I like.”

Avoid putting things on your list that you can’t control (e.g., “days with warm weather”) or that are not realistic right at this moment (such as “going on a cruise”).

Spend time with friends and family. If you can, schedule a little face-to-face time with someone you care about. Play a game or go see a movie together, go for a drink to blow off some steam, or simply have a friend over for a cup of tea. Spending time with loved ones is a great way to shift your mood and prevent you from focusing on negative thoughts or the events of your bad day.[12]
If you don’t have any friends or family nearby, try giving someone you know a call or having a chat online.

EditHelping Yourself Feel Better Physically
Go for a run, a jog, or a walk. One of the best ways to get over a bad day is exercise. In fact, regular exercise can increase your energy level and help you deal with stress.[13] Doing something physically active can also help ground you in the moment and take your mind off your worries. Work out your body and give your mind a rest.[14]
If you don’t have time for a full workout, even taking a 10-minute walk around the block can help.

Do restorative yoga postures. Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that engages both your mind and your body, helping to reduce stress and increase your sense of wellbeing.[15] If you’re having a rough day, try to take a few minutes to do some simple yoga poses. If you’re stuck at work or school, you can even do some poses, such as the lotus position, while sitting at your desk.[16]
The lotus position is an easy, calming pose that you can do anywhere. Sit comfortably in your chair or on the floor with your neck and spine straight and erect and cross your legs. Place your hands on your thighs, palms up, with your thumbs and first fingers touching. Breathe deeply through your nose for 10-15 breaths.

Fuel yourself with a healthy meal or snack. Eating healthy foods can help you feel better both physically and emotionally. Choose foods that can boost your mood and increase your energy levels, such as leafy greens, whole grains, lean proteins (like fish, poultry breast, or beans), and healthy fats (like those found in nuts and vegetable oils).[17]
While sweet baked goods, candy, or greasy foods may be tempting while you’re feeling down, these can deplete your energy and leave you feeling worse.

If you are going to go for chocolate as your comfort food, opt for dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has high levels of phenylalanine, which can stimulate your brain to release serotonin, a natural feel-good chemical.[18]

Get 7 to 9 hours of high-quality sleep. Sleep helps your body and mind recover from the stresses of your day. Aim to go to bed early enough that you can get 7 to 9 hours of sleep (or 8 to 10 if you’re a teen). Unfortunately, stress can make it harder for you to sleep.[19] If you’re concerned you might have trouble nodding off after your bad day, try the following:
Turn off all bright screens at least half an hour before you go to bed.

Unwind before you sleep with some light stretches and a warm bath or shower.

Read a little bit of a relaxing book and listen to some calming music.

Make sure your room is dark, quiet, and comfortable (e.g., neither too hot nor too cold).

Drink a warm, caffeine-free beverage, such as a mug of warm milk with a little honey mixed in.[20]

Bad days happen to everyone from time to time. However, if you feel like most or all of your days are bad, then you may be struggling with depression or a related issue. Make an appointment with your doctor or a therapist to discuss what you are feeling. They can offer advice or connect you with resources that may help.

EditRelated wikiHows
Turn Around a Bad Day at Work

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EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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