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As we continue Nissan’s “Diaries of a Globetrotter” series, during Throwback Thursday we’ll look into this past year’s Mardi Gras.

Every year, thousands of people flock to the South to celebrate the history of New Orleans with this 100-year-old tradition. Celebrated every Fat Tuesday, people plan more than a year ahead for the festivities.

Besides strutting down the French Quarter, there’s the special moments with loved ones and sharing your journey with other travelers to look forward to. The celebration of love and happiness would be engaging for any Globetrotter to enjoy.

2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented By Shell - Day 6

This guy might be a little warm from the thick bead-filled costume, but the tradition goes back all the way to Medieval times, when Carnivals began to pop up in major cities all over the world. When Mardi Gras began in New Orleans, dresses and fancy duds were welcomed, while masks were banned. When the ban was lifted in 1827, the masks and creative outfits like these came into fruition in a big way.

New Orleans Celebrates Mardi Gras

When Mardi Gras began, coconuts and rare beads were thrown into the crowds. Since they were hard to find, many people would find elaborate ways to grab them. This meant doing a jig, making jokes, and the non-traditional act of flashing.

New Orleans Celebrates Mardi Gras

During celebrations like the Zulu Parade, countless floats are seen down the streets, telling a story with elaborate art and creative designs. Many people who partake in the floats prepare them a year prior. Every year the theme changes for the parade, and so does the satirical and comical art displayed.

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Besides the season’s history, many people head to NOLA to have a good time with friends and family. With Bourbon Street being the biggest party spot, you’re bound to make some new friends.

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The events don’t end when the sun goes down. Many parades also happen at night, with tourists and natives jumping into the streets.

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Besides the mind-blowing food (more on that later) and parties, Harrah’s Casino & Hotel also welcomes travelers who want to try their luck.

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Jello shots, hand grenades, and other drinks are just a peek of what’s to come during Mardi Gras.

Learn more about Mardi Gras’ rich history below.

PHOTO CREDIT: Stacy-Ann Ellis , Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: History Channel 

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