An introduction to Mardi Gras beads

I have received my first batch of Mardi Gras beads. No, I didn’t do anything to earn them. A friend gave me a stash of extras she had lying around the house, assuming (rightly so) that we didn’t have any.

This is the colorful batch:

And, this is what I have learned about the tradition of Mardi Gras beads:

  • The longer the necklace, the more valuable it is considered.
  • You don’t have to flash anyone to earn beads – that is only in the French Quarter.
  • The colors have meaning: according to the official Mardi Gras Day website, “Purple, represents justice; the Green symbolizes faith; and the Gold exemplifies power.”
  • People will fight with each other at Parades over a strand of beads.

Shreveport’s first big Mardi Gras parade of the season is this Saturday, put on by the Krewe of Centaur (“Krewes” are like fraternities for grown-ups). If we make it to the parade, I’ll keep you posted on the validity of that last bullet point in addition to posting pictures of any swag I happen to pick up as it’s tossed from the floats.


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Filed under Mardi Gras, Southern Living

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