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King's Day of Mardi Gras

New Orleans’ Kick-off Celebrations

For those of you looking to kick-off the Carnival Season in New Orleans, be sure to attend the festivities of Twelfth Night.

Held in late winter on January 6th, Twelfth Night is a traditional holiday meaning the Twelfth Day of Christmas, and the coming of the Epiphany.

But for partygoers finding themselves in New Orleans in early January, Twelfth Night means the beginning of Mardi Gras season, when parades take place throughout the French Quarter in downtown NOLA.

Also known as King's Day, Twelfth Night brings the Phunny Phorty Fellows group to St. Charles Ave. – just west of Magazine Street.

Throughout Crescent City in restaurants, work places, and dining room tables, residents and visitors of New Orleans enjoy King Cakes. Roughly 75,000 purple, green, and gold Danish cakes – all adorned with a baby figurine – are consumed in the New Orleans metropolitan area each year during Twelfth Night.

For more information on the traditions of Twelfth Night and the rest of Carnival Season, visit the Backstreet Cultural Museum and The Presbytere – or check out Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World to see the creation of the Mardi Gras parade floats and props.