Did you know that Mobile Mardi Gras is the oldest annual Carnival celebration in the United States? The first Mardi Gras was celebrated here in 1703 and it doesn’t look like we’re going to stop anytime, soon!
Mardi Gras itself predates the U.S. by thousands of years. The origin is pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, according to historians. Carnival eventually merged with Christianity because that was easier than abolishing the popular, time-honored tradition! Consequently, Mardi Gras became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
One aspect of the Mobile Mardi Gras that makes it unique is the prevalence of the Moon Pie.
During Mardi Gras parades, Krewe members aboard the floats toss various things into the crowds: “throws.” Throws are often strings of bright plastic beads, charms, and the like. In Mobile, one very popular throw is the humble yet delicious Moon Pie.
Moon Pies gained their popularity as a throw when Cracker Jack was banned because the boxes could cause injury. Moon Pies – chocolate covered graham cracker cookies with a marshmallow center – were the perfect replacement, being soft, round and, frankly, delicious.
There are lots of different Moon Pies out there. The Chattanooga Bakery produced the original Moon Pie in 1916, and they’re still making them! Other companies make similar products for Mobile’s Mardi Gras, known as “Mardi Gras Pies.” Mardi Gras Pies will often have a krewe’s emblem printed on the wrapper.
Mobile Mardi Gras
February 10th through February 28th
Mobile Mardi Gras tends to be more family-friendly than many others. The streets of downtown Mobile fill from February 10th to February 28th, Fat Tuesday. You’ll see numerous parades with live marching bands, spectacular floats, Moon Pies, and tons of fellow Mardi Gras revelers.
If you plan to attend, you’ll want to check out the schedule as posted on the Mobile Mask website and reserve your Mardi Gras lodging as soon as humanly possible!
May we humbly suggest lodging in one of Malaga Inn’s 39 private rooms and suites? Our convenient location in downtown Mobile puts all of Carnival at your fingertips! Book your room at Malaga Inn now before we fill up!