February 21st is “Fat Tuesday” – the last day of the Mardi Gras celebration! Some of the most timeless traditions associated with Mardi Gras are the parades. These parades date back to the 1820′s, but the introduction of the strands of beads, which we now associate with the celebration, didn’t happen until the 1920′s. Can you imagine 100 years of Mardi Gras without the beads?! We have the Rex Parade to thank for beginning the tradition of tossing beads to parade watchers. The first beads used were actually strands of Czech-made glass beads. The beads were so popular that within a few years, inexpensive, mass-produced plastic beads were being manufactured to keep up with demand. Although these beads can be found in many different colors, the most predominant, and widely recognizable, are purple, green and gold, which are meant to represent justice, faith and power. In a retro-inspired twist, glass beads are again becoming a popular throw during Mardi Gras parades. When the crowds cry “Throw me something Mister!” there are more and more limited-edition, intricate and specially designed beads being thrown, along with handfuls of the plastic ones. These newer versions, along with the original Czech glass beads, are highly collectible!
WIN THESE BEADS! All you have to do is leave a comment below to be entered in our contest, and if you blog about our contest you’ll receive 2 entries (be sure to comment with a link to your blog). On the evening of February 24th we’ll draw a name and the winner will receive all the beads which are pictured below. Good luck and thanks for playing!