Mardi Gras (New Orleans)
New Orleans, Louisiana is known for its world famous party, called Mardi Gras. The roots of this celebration go all the way back to ancient Rome and a spring festival of costumes, feasting, and merry-making. The Roman celebration was reborn as "Carnival", as Christianity spread through Europe and changed some Pagan festivals into church holidays. Carnival is a last chance for believers to let their hair down, before the forty days of Lent begin. French immigrants brought this tradition with them when they settled New Orleans in 1718. Later, in 1857, the Mystic Krewe of Comus, a secret society, staged a parade of floats, which soon other groups emulated. From this, the modern Mardi Gras was born. Today, the Mardi Gras celebration attracts more than a million people each year.