Thousands of people gathered in the streets of uptown New Orleans and even more in the Vieux Carre (French Quarter) for what seemed like the biggest event in New Orleans, Louisiana. People from everywhere come to celebrate this traditional holiday known as Mardi Gras. As the vibrant and unique floats roll down St. Charles Ave, you can hear the marching bands, smell the candy apples, and almost get caught up in the spirit of Mardi Gras. New Orleans is known for its history of many fascinating and unusual things such as voodoo, haunted houses, etc. But what is the origin of the celebration of Mardi Gras?.
The expression Mardi Gras comes from the French meaning, Fat Tuesday. There are many parades that roll through all parts of Louisiana, some as far as Baton Rouge. The colorful worlds of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology are the sources of nearly half of the krewe names for the parades. The colors that represent the carnival are also significant. Purple represents justice, green stands for faith, and gold signifies power. .
The parade "Hermes" that passed in Uptown New Orleans on Friday Feb. 28, 2003, was started by a group of businessmen in 1937. Its original intention was to promote tourism and it's no wonder that the theme chosen for Hermes is the wing-footed God of trade and Guardian of Travelers as their namesake. .
One of the biggest parades that many people come out to see is the "Krewe of Orpheus." This parade which ran on Monday Mar. 3, 2003 derives its name from Orpheus, the son of Apollo and the muse of Calliope. The story of Orpheus is centered on music. Orpheus was given a lyre by his father and was taught to play it to perfection. The theme "A Flourish of Fetes and Feasts" was this year's theme for The Krewe of Orpheus. Orpheus" greatest feat was said to be his beautiful wife, Eurydice. After his wife died Orpheus was very upset and wanted her to be brought back to life from the dead.