Haiti Carnival Floats

Mardi Gras' or 'Fat Tuesday' is a Christian holiday and a popular cultural festival which is celebrated on the day before the religious season of Lent that begins on Ash Wednesday. It also has links to the Christmas season through the period known as Carnival. The festival is celebrated in many countries dominated by the Roman Catholic populations. Parades are a major part of celebrating Mardi Gras since the day when the 'krewes' began parading through New Orleans over 100 years ago. The crude early floats during the mid 1800's were often accompanied by young slaves, and free men of color (known as flambeaux carriers) who carried torches to light the way for floats and bands during Mardi Gras night parades. 'Krewes' are the groups with hereditary membership whose members organize and participate as costumed paraders in the annual Mardi Gras carnival. Each Mardi Gras Parade Krewe has a unique history and theme. This most famous public festivity draws thousands of tourists and revelers every year. Popular practices on Mardi Gras include costumes and wearing masks, dancing, overturning social conventions, sports competitions, parades, debauchery, etc. The first official Mardi Gras parade celebrated in the U.S was at Mobile, Alabama in 1703 under the French rule. The true origins of Mardi Gras can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome, and along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other countries such as Brazil, New Orleans, Venice, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, and Canada.


The first official public celebration of carnival in Haiti started in 1804 in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Mardi Gras in Haiti is an exciting, sensuous and spectacular display of Haitian people; their creativity, culture, art, religion and music. Port-au-Prince's annual carnival is one of the largest Mardi Gras carnivals in the Caribbean and North America. These celebrations in Haiti are funded by the government, wealthy Haitian families and businessmen. Haitian version of carnival season begins in January as Pre-Kanaval, and the main carnival begins in February each year. The celebration ends on the Tuesday before the Roman Catholic holiday known as Ash Wednesday.

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