It is believed that Mardi Gras parades began in New Orleans sometime around the 1830’s. … During the late 1800’s, inexpensive necklaces made of glass beads began to be tossed into the crowds by the parade krewes. The beads were an instant hit among the crowds of New Orleans residents and visiting Mardi Gras tourists.
What does it mean when you get beads in New Orleans?
Mardi Gras beads are strings of brightly coloured, shiny beads that are often handed out at Mardi Gras, and used to decorate the streets of New Orleans for the carnival. … The beads are typically gold, green and purple – colours which, in Christianity, represent power, faith, and justice respectively.
What is the meaning of the throwing of the beads?
The legend says that a man who was dressed up as Santa Claus tossed strands of glass beads into the crowds. They were such a hit, that people would fight for them — perhaps what inspired nearly a century later the need to win them over with a flash of skin.
Is throwing beads illegal in New Orleans?
It has been illegal since 1999 for spectators at Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans to throw any objects, even beads, at float riders or other parade participants. … The exception would have covered only plastic beads — presumably beads that spectators had caught from riders on earlier floats in the same parade.
Why do people throw beads on Bourbon Street?
Saturating the scene on Bourbon Street are plastic beads, handed or tossed to partygoers as a kind of currency. Some bare their breasts or offer booze in exchange for the tokens; others catch them in the air and wear the layers around their necks.
Is flashing in New Orleans legal?
Contrary to popular belief, public nudity is illegal in New Orleans. (Many a bared breast does not a lawful act make.) You can be arrested for flashing, but you probably won’t be disbarred for it because it’s not a crime of moral turpitude, and it doesn’t reflect on your propensity for truthfulness.
When did the bead throwing tradition start?
Beads and Throws
The throwing of beads and fake jewels, from parade floats to those watching down below, is thought to have started in the late 19th century, when a carnival king threw fake strands of gems and rings to his “loyal subjects” sometime in the 1890s.
What is a Zulu coconut?
Also among the most coveted of Mardi Gras parade “throws” are Zulu coconuts, the round, painted, glittery orbs thrown out by members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club. … Nowadays, Zulu coconuts are handed into the crowd rather than thrown, to avoid injuries (and lawsuits).
Can you drink in public in New Orleans?
New Orleans Municipal Code Sec. 54-404 allows anyone to carry an open container of alcohol in the New Orleans French Quarter on the public streets, sidewalks, parks, or public rights-of-way as long as the container is not an opened glass container. … Open containers of alcohol are illegal in vehicles even in New Orleans.