Mardi Gras is coming, time to review and tweet

Mardi Gras rolls around about this time every year bringing Fat Tuesday and signaling celebrations held worldwide. In the United States, the focus is on New Orleans and this year the city is sponsoring some special events including a family-friendly focus and a special series of Twitter Chats leading up to the celebration.

About a million people will take to the streets of New Orleans for the two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday. Throughout the celebration, the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold can be seen around the city. Purple, green and gold officially became the colors of Carnival back in 1872 when Alexis Romanov, Grand Duke of Russia, visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras. In the Duke’s honor, the city adopted the Romanov family colors of purple, green and gold, representing justice, fidelity and power.

Also a tradition of Mardi Gras, King Cakes came to New Orleans with the French and began as round, custard-filled pastries decorated with crowns. King Cakes remain extremely popular throughout the city during the carnival season and are often compared to a coffee cake, drizzled in icing and decorated with sugar dyed the traditional colors. Tradition holds that whoever gets the ornamental baby hidden inside the cake at the first party had to give a king cake party the following weekend.While costumes are not required, most carnival revelers join in the fun with wigs and glitter making outrageous outfits welcome all carnival long.

Although a time of revelry, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is routinely celebrated with the entire family. Many local families come together on the Avenue and set up chairs, ladders, ice chests and tents for the parades.

This year, a question and answer Twitter Chat (#MGQA) will take place every Tuesday from 2:00-3:00 CST from now until the start of Mardi Gras with questions answered by the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation‘s ( NOTMC) two Twitter accounts @VisitNewOrleans and @GoNOLA504 as well as the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (NOCVB) Twitter account @NewOrleans. Participants are encouraged to use the #MardiGras hashtag.

Also new this year, a special Mardi Gras New Orleans 2012 web site has been launched featuring parade schedules, tips for visitors and a live webcam during events.

There, now we’re up to speed on Mardi Gras. No test.

Flickr photo by DoctorWho