If you get to attend Mardi Gras and participate in the celebrations burning carnival, you probably already know about Mardi Gras beads and how popular they are. There are many ways people get beads given to them, but there is one tradition that started the entire Mardi Gras fascination.
Where Did The Mardi Gras Throw Start
There is a lot of speculation around Mardi Gras beads and the throws that are done with them. The first recorded Mardi Gras beads were tossed to crowds from passing parade krewes in the early 1800s, and the beads were originally made from glass.
The bead colors are traditionally gold, purple and green, and have their significance in early Christian symbolism. People attending carnival often try and collect more beads than other people, and many methods have arisen, but the best is to yell to the parade krewes, "Can I Have Some, sir" and most of the time, the men working the parades will toss you a string of beads.
There are other ways people try and get beads, like flashing for beads or stealing other people's beads, but these are not traditions, and most of these methods will get you in trouble with the police that are patrolling the streets during the parades and other events.
The largest parade is held on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent starts, and this is an excellent time to get large amounts of beads. The parade krewes will be ready to toss hundreds of strings into the crowd, so get as close to the street as you can and be prepared to yell to the krewes and see how many Mardi Gras beads you can collect and bring home.
Buying Mardi Gras Beads
If you are celebrating Mardi Gras at home, you can buy beads for your event or party, but they will most likely be plastic replicas of the original beads. Finding Mardi Gras beads at a party supply store in bulk amounts is easy, and you can have a lot of fun doing your own Mardi Gras throws with your friends and family if you can't make it to New Orleans for the event.
If you want authentic Mardi Gras beads, look for strings made in the traditional colors, and the strings should be about thirty inches long. You could even buy beads and take them to Mardi Gras, but part of the fun of collecting the beads at the event is convincing people to give them to you.