Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

I've always enjoyed visiting my sister in Louisiana in February. Not only is it much warmer there than in Chicago, but I really love Mardi Gras season. The season officially begins in January, but most of the festivals and parades happen in February, with one last big party on “Fat Tuesday.” People throughout Louisiana, and many other cities around the world, celebrate Mardi Gras with parades, music, food, and lots and LOTS of beads.

Mardi Gras: A Cajun Country Celebration discusses the history, customs and traditions of the French Acadian people, or Cajuns. Many of the traditions of Mardi Gras date back to the Middle Ages, when people would dance, sing and play music for in exchange for food.

If you want to have your own Fat Tuesday celebration, try Paper Crafts for Mardi Gras for inspiration. Find out what the official colors of Mardi Gras stand for, where the tradition of bead throwing comes from and why music is so important to the celebration. Then make your own decorations and masks!

A great Mardi Gras party is not complete without some traditional Cajun music. Zydeco, a blend of Cajun and Creole music, is one type of music played during Mardi Gras. Buckwheat Zydeco's Choo Choo Boogalo: Zydeco Music for Families is not only an introduction to zydeco music, but it takes listeners across the musical landscape of Louisiana. It will have you hopping up and dancing in no time.

However you celebrate Mardi Gras, remember to “Let the good times roll.”

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Chicago Public Library