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mardi gras colors - bits & bobs

1. The traditional Mardi Gras colors are purple, gold, and green.


2. The three Mardi Gras colors symbolize justice, power, and faith.


3. The Mardi Gras colors are incorporated into any and all Mardi Gras materials from floats, costumes, and throws to body paint/tattoos, food, and fireworks.

Mardi Gras 2019 is Tuesday, March 5th

Mardi Gras Colors

Justice, Power, and Faith In Every Costume, Cake, Bead, and Float

Colored Mardi Gras Masks
Colored Mardi Gras Masks at Abears Cafe in Houma, Louisiana

Regardless of where the celebration takes place, there are three colors traditionally identified with Mardi Gras.  Each of the colors stands for a particular personal trait or cultural value.  The colors are found on, and in, everything from Mardi Gras beads and throws to the colored sugar and fondant icing on King Cakes.  Mardi Gras masks, clothing, floats, body paint, and artwork all share these three colors.

Many people date the choice of Mardi Gras colors to 1872 when the New Orleans Krewe of Rex was formed and selected their official Mardi Gras color palette. However, the symbolism of each color probably wasn't codified until 1892 when the Krewe of Rex Parade’s theme was “The Symbolism of Colors”, and proposed the meaning inherent in each color.

Mardi Gras Gold

The most commonly used Mardi Gras color seems to be gold. While gold may be a favorite everyday color because it connotes wealth, in its association with Mardi Gras it symbolizes power. Mardi Gras gold can be anything from a very yellowy bright tint to a rich, almost bronze, color.

Mardi Gras Purple

In all things Mardi Gras, the color purple is symbolic of justice, and what is “right”.  Mardi Gras purple tends to fall on the darker side of the scale, lending a deep rich swath to Mardi Gras color schemes.

Mardi Gras Green

The final color in the Mardi Gras palette is green, used as a symbol of faith. Mardi Gras greens run the gamut from a pale chartreuse to a deep kelly green.

Mardi Gras & Carnival Colors


Though the colors and meanings are the same from place to place, the hue varies from one Mardi Gras celebration to another.