Mardi Gras Costumes and the Traditional Colors

Friday, November 30, 2012
One of the great things about Mardi Gras costumes is that, in choosing one, you can be as conservative or wild as you want to be. There are no rules you must follow to dress up and have a good time. If you want to reuse your crazy outfit from Halloween, there's nothing saying that you can't. That said, most people like to choose an outfit and mask that hearkens to some of the traditions surrounding the celebration. These traditions are rich and steeped in history, which adds another dimension to the revelry. One of the most obvious aspects of these traditions is the prominent colors. Here's a look at these colors, any or all of which you can incorporate into your outfit.

The Colors
Gold, green, and purple are the dominant colors of the yearly celebration, which has its roots in ancient Rome and has been a New Orleans staple for many years. Of course, not just any versions of those colors will do. A very metallic gold color is needed, along with a bright green and a rich, royal purple. Why these colors? They were designated as the symbolic colors of power, faith, and justice back in 1892 by the king of the carnival. Some take this symbolism as is, while others look deeper and see a link between the colors and the Catholic church.
The Church
For those who want to believe that the first Rex of the carnival (Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff) pulled on Catholicism to choose the prominent colors that have adorned Mardi Gras costumes since the turn of the century, the evidence is ample. While there is certainly nothing wrong with taking his words as face value, it's impossible to deny the fact that the Catholic church has a strong connection with the carnival. It is, after all, meant to be a final blowout before Lent begins, a season in which practitioners abstain from their favorite pleasures and enter into deep meditation. Certainly, the concepts of faith and justice are among those traits believers feel they can achieve through their savior.
Of course, you don't have to be a Catholic or a Christian at all to take place in the festivities, and most people will tell you that church is the last thing on anyone's mind in those days of celebration and excitement. The tradition of colors in Mardi Gras costumes is just that- a way to provide a theme for the carnival and a chance to hold true to its roots.


Post a Comment