Why Does The Mardi Gras Season Start On January 6th?
The sixth day of January officially marks the start of the Mardi Gras season every year. But why is that?
According to NOLA.com, it all started with a drunken night way back in 1870.
The "Carnival" season, which nobody from Louisiana really calls it, begins on January 6th and ends at midnight on Mardi Gras day (March 5). So, come Sunday, feel free to say, Happy Mardi Gras" to your local grocer after checking out, much in the same way you'd say, "Merry Christmas" starting on Black Friday.
Also, start ordering your King Cakes now! It's not only okay, but highly encouraged to indulge in the most delicious part of Mardi Gras starting on the 6th. And if you get that baby, you best buy the next cake! Don't be that person...
So, the explanation as to why it all starts on January 6th, aka King's Day, aka Epiphany, aka Twelfth Night. Traditionally that day is a time of feasting. Back in 1870, one of the first Mardi Gras crews, the Twelfth Night Revelers, decided to have a parade and party on that night.
Traditionally, the jesters would bring around King Cake to the women of the crew. Whoever found the gilded bean inside of the cake was crowned the Queen of the Twelfth Night Revelers. Beans were used cause little plastic babies were few and far between back in the 1800's.
On this particular night, the jesters over-indulged on the alcohol and either dropped or threw the cake on the young ladies instead of just presenting it to them.
Because of a fateful drunken-jester-fueled night, Mardi Gras season officially begins on January 6th.