Jan 5, 2016

Why Do People Throw Mardi Gras Beads? (It's Not What You're Thinking!)

Plus: Buy Mardi Gras Beads in Time to Celebrate!

Ping here. I’m starting the new year off right with a little blogging. I was checking out some cool swag for the season, and it dawned on me that Mardi Gras is drawing near. I have had some good times at Mardi Gras. It’s the perfect party for a penguin—everyone’s wearing masks and indulging in adult beverages, so it’s fairly easy to walk the streets of New Orleans incognito. Believe me, a penguin is not the weirdest thing you’ll see at Mardi Gras.

But all jokes aside, Mardi Gras is a time-honored tradition dating back centuries, and the people of New Orleans are very proud and protective of it. Also known as Carnival, it’s a festive occasion celebrating exuberance and liveliness before the Catholic observance of lent begins. Mardi Gras is well-known for its colorful parades, during which “krewes” (parade hosts) toss trinkets to onlookers, who traditionally shout, “throw me something mister!” These trinkets are also tossed off the beautiful balconies of Bourbon Street.

Among the more well-recognized trinkets are colorful beads. These beads often reflect the colors of Mardi Gras—gold, green, and purple—and are a much sought after souvenir. In recent years, these beads have become associated with unruly behavior and partying (think Penguins Gone Wild). But locals and historic Mardi Gras lovers agree that throwing beads is a treasured tradition—not a practice to be associated with indecency. Mardi Gras beads have a rich history and cultural significance. The colors of the beads signify their meanings: purple represents justice, green represents faith, and gold represents power. The original intent was to toss beads to people who embodied the traits of each color.

No Mardi Gras celebration or promotion is complete without beads, and we are featuring some beautiful purple, green, and gold beads with a Fleur-De-Lis medallion for January. The medallion includes a one-location, one-color imprinted logo. Contact an Icebox Creative Expert for pricing and customization options!

Another well-recognized Mardi-Gras symbol is an ornate mask. Masks were traditionally worn to conceal one’s identity during the festivities, as the social barriers between commoners and the upper-class would temporarily disappear during Mardi Gras. It was a Carnival meant for all to enjoy. The tradition has lived on, and masks make great gifts and souvenirs to commemorate the celebration.
If you are thinking about running a Mardi Gras promotion, we highly recommend this Cat String Mask. It’s instantly recognizable as a Mardi Gras symbol, and it’s customizable with a one-location, 4-color imprint. Contact an Icebox Creative Expert for pricing and customization options!

So remember these facts when celebrating Mardi Gras this year: 1) History can attest—you don’t need to show your under-feathers to get yourself some cool Mardi Gras swag; and 2) Mardi Gras is for everyone—forget all social boundaries, and celebrate life and the exuberance of the human spirit!

Stay cool, friends!
- Ping

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