After several weeks of dreary grey skies, freezing cold temperatures and long nights, Mardi Gras comes as a welcome relief from winter doldrums. Traditionally this holiday - which translates from French as "Fat Tuesday" - is the time when Christians celebrated and indulged in delicious foods before entering the fasting season of Lent. However, modern Mardi Gras celebrations are all about colorful masks, great music, dancing, laughing and having an all-around good time.
While this may seem like a holiday specifically designed for adults, there's no reason you can't get the little ones involved with a kid-friendly Mardi Gras celebration. With some fun party games, gifts for kids and delicious snacks, your children and their friends will have a great time getting into the holiday spirit. You can also help them create some unique keepsakes that they'll cherish for many Mardi Gras to come.
No Mardi Gras celebration is complete without elaborately designed masks, so use this opportunity to engage your youngsters with an enjoyable arts and crafts session. According to Education.com, colorful Venetian masks have come to symbolize Mardi Gras and preliminary Carnival celebration.
There are many directions you can go with this project. If you're looking for something more elaborate, you can help your children design papier-mache masks using newspaper and a paste mixture. For something simpler, consider purchasing pre-made white masks and some glitter, paint, glue, feathers and markers for decorating. In combination with some colorful beads, your children and their friends will be looking ready to celebrate Mardi Gras in style.
With a holiday known as Fat Tuesday, you have to make some delicious snacks for your little ones to enjoy. In keeping with New Orleans holiday traditions, you might want to consider some spicy Cajun dishes and appetizers like shrimp, Andouille sausage, crawfish or gumbo. While these might be too hot for a full meal for your children, they'll be sure to enjoy sampling these spicy dishes. Just make sure to check with their friends' parents regarding any dietary restrictions or allergies.
According to AllRecipes.com, the King Cake is a Mardi Gras staple that has been around for ages. Featuring the typical Mardi Gras greens, golds and purples, this special cake is shaped like a ring and contains a tiny plastic baby inside. While the regular traditional states that whoever selects the piece of cake with the baby inside must host the next party, instead you can deem one of your little ones as the Mardi Gras king or queen!