Celebrating Mardi Gras at Home

Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday) falls on Feb. 16, 2021, and if you're looking to celebrate from the safety of your own home, this handy Mardi Gras guide has you covered.

Mardi Gras, which is also known as Fat Tuesday, can be traced all the way back to medieval Europe and is celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday with music, parades, picnics, floats and more.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Mardi Gras celebrations — including the massive carnival in New Orleans — have been canceled, but you can still celebrate the holiday safely at home.

This at-home Mardi Gras guide offers you some NOLA-style recipes, crafts and activities to introduce your kids to the holiday.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out all the fun to be had this Mardi Gras and throw your own spectacular Mardi Gras celebration at home!

The food

As with any good celebration, your Mardi Gras day at home needs a bit of yum — and the holiday is a perfect excuse to introduce your kids to New Orleans-style recipes.

You can find five such recipes in this roundup including crab-and-shrimp etouffee, sausage jambalaya and, of course, King Cake.

Fat Tuesday in Michigan also means it’s time to put away a paczki or two, and while you can get some of these Polish-inspired desserts at most local grocery stores, you won’t beat the fresh paczkis offered at these local bakeries.

Want even more recipes to try? Delish offers more than 20 Mardi Gras food recipes and Southern Living features more than 30.

The activities

Mardi Gras is often associated with the colors purple, green and yellow, which represent justice, faith and power, respectively.

Families looking to celebrate Mardi Gras at home can start by decorating their home in these colors. Fleur de Lis and festive bead necklaces are also big parts of the tradition. Once you have your home decorated, you can teach your kids more about the holiday, and keep them entertained with these fun craft and activity ideas.

  • Watch The Princess and The Frog. It’s set in 1926 New Orleans and we’ve found plenty of Mardi Gras-inspired activities that go along with it.
  • Make a Mardi Gras mask. In the beginning, masks were worn during Mardi Gras to help the wearer escape class constraints and masks are still worn today to add to the excitement of the holiday.
  • Make some Mardi Gras slime. Kids love to make slime and this recipe from Premeditated Leftovers incorporates the traditional colors of the holiday.

Or, if you have older kids, you can also consider running in the annual Paczki Day run in Hamtramck. The annual race has gone virtual this year, but you can sign up through Feb. 13 and participate from a location of your choice. Enjoy!

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