16 Mardi Gras Trivia Facts to Eat Pancakes With

Even if you don’t celebrate Mardi Gras, you’re probably vaguely aware of it as Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday, or like… Fat Tuesday or something. Or you have absolutely no idea what it is, but your friends seem to kind of enjoy the day and it’s a nice excuse to go out or something. Whatever floats your boat. If going out happens to include bar trivia, here are some Mardi Gras trivia facts. 

Further Reading: What Is Mardi Gras? What’s with the Pancakes?

Mardi Gras Trivia Facts

1. Yes, “Mardi Gras” means “Fat Tuesday” in French. 

2. The first Mardi Gras celebration took place in what would be modern New Orleans on March 3, 1699.

3. In New Orleans you’re not allowed to commercialize Mardi Gras. So corporations don’t get to sponsor or advertise on the floats during the parade. 

4. Wearing a mask or hood for the purpose of concealing your identity is actually illegal in Louisiana. Except on Mardi Gras. If you’re on a float you’re actually required by law to wear a mask. 

5. “Laissez les bons temps rouler” is a common greeting used during Mardi Gras festivities. Translated from Cajun French, it means “let the good times roll.”

6. The Mistick Krewe of Comus is the oldest organization of Mardi Gras stuff in New Orleans. They were founded in 1856. Their history also has ties to white supremacy. 

7. Stuffing a plastic baby into a king cake (it’s a big cake) is a thing for Mardi Gras. If you find the baby it’s supposed to be good luck. 

8. The Krewe of Venus formed in 1965 as the first all-female krewe. 

9. Bakeries in New Orleans push out over 750,000 king cakes per year for Mardi Gras. No word on how many plastic babies are used, though.

10. The green, purple, and gold associated with Mardi Gras symbolize faith, justice, and power respectively. 

11. Also, the colors were chosen to mimic European tricolor flags—but nobody really knows exactly why green, purple, and gold won out over other colors. 

12. Mardi Gras brings in at least a million people to New Orleans for tourism. 

13. There’s a Star Wars themed crew called the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. 

14. As part of the Mardi Gras season in Ivrea, Italy there’s a big food fight where everyone throws oranges. It is fittingly called the Battle of the Oranges. 

15. The roots of Mardi Gras go back to the Roman Empire, and are probably linked to Saturnalia, a festival of the harvest. 

16. If you yell “throw something at me, mister!” at the floats, a krewe member will probably throw something at you. Normally it’s like beads or something. 

See if you know your Mardi Gras floats here.