Celebrate Mardi Gras: Music, Movies, TV Shows and…house floats?!

Mardi Gras via Unsplash by Johanna Paula Perez - Vinluan edited by Hollywood.com with color overlay
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Laissez les bons temps rouler––let the good times roll!

This Cajun French saying has become a mantra of sorts for Mardi Gras. Pronounced “Lay-say le bon tom roo-lay,” it’s the official greeting of Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, means “Fat Tuesday” in French, and it’s a holiday rich in history. 

Celebrate Mardi Gras at home with our list of Mardi Gras movies, Mardi Gras TV shows, and Mardi Gras music, plus a glimpse at how the Mardi Gras celebrations have changed due to the pandemic.

Grab some beignets, a king cake, a box of pączki at your local Polish bakery (Happy Pączki Day!), a box of doughnuts, or simply your favorite treat and laissez les bon temps rouler with our at-home friendly Mardi Gras celebrations!

Mardi Gras Movies

Let’s start off with a list of Mardi Gras in films to watch:

Easy Rider (1969) starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, and Antonio Mendoza

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) starring Tony Todd, Kelly Rowan, Veronica Cartwright, and Clive Barker

Déjà Vu (2006) starring Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, and Val Kilmer

Autopsy (2008) starring Jessica Lowndes, Ross Kohn, Ross McCall, and Ashley Schneider

The Princess And The Frog (2009) starring Anika Noni Rose, Keith David, Oprah Winfrey, and Bruno Campos

Mardi Gras: Spring Break (2011) starring Josh Gad, Arielle Kebbel, Carmen Electra, and Regina Hall

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) starring Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, and Robert Knepper

Mardi Gras in TV Shows

If you only have time for an episode or two, Mardi Gras makes a few appearances on television, too:

The Originals, Season 5, Episode 1, “Where You Left Your Heart” – main characters meet to discuss mardi gras celebrations (recap here – spoiler alert!)

NCIS: New Orleans, Season 1, Episode 15, “Le Carnivale de la Mort” & Season 3, Episode 14 “Pandora’s Box 2” – features the Mardi Gras parade; many more episodes take place during Mardi Gras festivities

Cloak & Dagger: Season 1, Episode 10, “Colony Collapse” –  includes a scene with a character preparing for a Mardi Gras parade

American Horror Story: Coven: The third season of American Horror Story is set in New Orleans; although Mardi Gras isn’t particularly celebrated, one AHS fan created her own Coven-themed 3-course meal, plus a cocktail to enjoy while watching!

Mardi Gras music for at-home celebrations

When you think of Mardi Gras, is there a song that comes to mind?

Maybe “Let the Good Times Roll” by Ray Charles? “Mardi Gras Mambo” by The Hawketts or the cover by The Meters? For me, it’s “This Land is Your Land” by Sharon Jones & The Dap-King.

For fellow Vampire Diaries fans––check your Vampire Diaries IQ here––you may know why this song comes to mind first. In The Originals, a Vampire Diaries spinoff series, the pilot episode plays the song as Camille asks Klaus “so what brings you to The Big Easy?”

Whether or not you know any Mardi Gras music, we have just the playlist for you:

Mardi Gras in 2021 means… Mardi Gras house floats?!

Mardi Gras has roots in New Orleans but as we know, Americans will turn any holiday into an excuse to get together and party. 

As a south Florida local, I experienced a Mardi Gras celebration firsthand at The Wharf Miami, complete with masks, beads, and of course, alcohol. 

Mardi Gras at The Wharf Miami
Janette Becerra

So how have the Mardi Gras festivities changed since the pandemic?

In pandemic fashion, New Orleans locals decided to bring the party to their house! CNN reported that since parades got cancelled, the people of NOLA turned their houses into floats. It started with just one house, and three months later, over 3,000 houses are now Mardi Gras floats!

Here are a few of the Mardi Gras house floats shared on Twitter:

More Like This: Once Upon a Pre-Pandemic Time in Hollywood

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