Unmasking Mardi Gras

New Orleans witnessed its first modern Mardi Gras procession - kick-started by a group of students eager to revive the traditional masquerade, banned for six decades - on 27th February, 1827. 

The city’s parades and revelry can trace their origins back to ancient pagan festivals and European traditions, cemented by the arrival of French-Canadian explorer (and MASSIVE ‘Fat Tuesday’ fan) Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville into Louisiana in 1699. 

In this episode, The Retrospectors Krewe dig into the celebration’s impact on revenue and refuse; consider the discriminatory practices that accompanied the festivities until the late 20th century; and get angry about the British equivalent: Pancake Day… 

Further Reading:

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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

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