6 Mardi Gras Traditions Further Explained

6 Mardi Gras Traditions That Don’t Make Sense Anywhere Else

Bet you didn’t know that there is actually of a lot of religious values behind these crazy traditions.

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It's PARTI GRAS season!! You know what that means, right? Well, if you are from Southern Mississippi, all of Louisiana, and a few other southern states, you sure do! But what about the other 46 states? Do you know why we go crazy for king cake? Why we worship the green, gold, and purple? You're about to learn today, boy!

For all the Yankee's, here are 6 Mardi Gras Traditions elaborated so you can laissez les bon temps rouler too:

1. King Cake

Fun Fact: Mardi Gras season begins on January 6th because that is believed to be when Jesus showed himself to the three wise men, also known as the Twelfth Night or the Epiphany.

Therefore, King Cake/Mardi Gras season begins on that date.

But, why stick a plastic baby in a cake? It is believed to be brought over from French traditions in the 1870s. The legend goes that the lucky person who “finds" the baby has to bring the next cake along. The King Cake Roulette continues until Fat Tuesday, ending the Mardi Gras season until the following year.

Besides, what more of a reason do we need to eat cake all the time!

2. Purple, Green, and Gold

Okay, but why purple, green, and gold? Who decided those three?

So each of the colors represents something: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.

But, there is so much more to it. It gets a little complicated, so here's the best summary I could find considering we are digging back almost two centuries before the internet blessed our souls.

According to famous historian Errol Flynn Laborde, the Rex founders believed that “a king must have a kingdom and a kingdom must have a flag," and since the US, Britain, and France all had three national colors, so should the flag for Carnival.

When choosing the colors, royal purple was a given. “Heraldry" legends state that you need a “metal," providing gold was an obvious choice, and “colors," referring to coat of arms. There were only five sufficient colors: purple, red, blue, green, and black. Narrowing it down, it was pretty clear that green was the best choice.

Fun Fact: Legend says that when arch-rivals LSU (Geaux to hell) and Tulane were choosing school colors, LSU decided on gold and purple and bought up the majority of it, leaving green for Tulane.

3. Masks

I know masks aren't solely a thing of Mardi Gras, but they are VERY popular around that time. So, what's the hitch?

Initially, masks were worn so that partygoers could escape their societal and class constraints. Mingling with any class, escaping their realities and identities, and allowing freedom were the biggest factors.

On the flip side, women who wore these masks often had their reputation questions, and it was seen as a diversion for poor people to mingle with higher class.

Fun Fact: By law, float riders are required to wear masks in the parade!

4. Beads and “Throws”

What's the big deal about some plastic beads? And why do you have, like, a MILLION of these plastic cups?

Throwing things during the parade isn't something new. In fact, throwing trinkets and such started as early as the 1870s by Twelfth Night Revelers.

So, you get a lot of beads because they are easy to throw, what about the rest of the stuff? Well, usually the cups, stuffed animals, specialty beads, coins, etc. are commemorative items from the different Krewes in the parade. Each Krewe gets to choose what they want to throw to parade-goers and around here, anything goes!

5. “Throw me something, mister!”

Why do people flash for some beads?

As often of a question as this is, there are a lot of parts where it doesn't even happen. Usually, people flash in order to grab the attention of the floaters so that they will throw them something extra nice. And usually flashing occurs after several drink specialties.

6. Fat Tuesday

So, what's the big deal with Fat Tuesday? It's just another Tuesday.

Wrong. It is the most important Tuesday of the year. Okay, maybe not the most important, but you get the gist. It is very important.

Carnival season is about eating, drinking, and celebrating life before the season of sacrifice, Lent. Therefore, the “big deal" with Fat Tuesday is that it is about celebrating the Carnival season that leads up to Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday is always the Tuesday right before Ash Wednesday, kicking off the season of Lent.

So, now that you know all about the biggest “party down south," what are you waiting for?

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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