Ideas for Mardi Gras Umbrellas for Costumes


Mardi Gras is a festival celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. It originated in Europe but was brought to North America by the French Canadian explorer Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, who named the land south of New Orleans Pointe du Mardi Gras. The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold (symbolizing justice, faith and power), and during the festival masks and costumes of all styles are decorated in these colors.

Mardi Gras Umbrellas Through History

  • Dancing with a Mardi Gras or "second line" umbrella dates back to jazz funeral processions in late 1800s New Orleans. The funeral parade would weave through the streets under the hot sun, so participants needed parasols for shade. A first line of mourners, consisting of the family and the jazz band, followed the casket, and non-family members would follow. Before the burial the band played a slow, somber march, but afterward the mourners celebrated life with a dancing parade. Umbrellas, handkerchiefs and purses became props in an energetic dance. The second line parade has become a popular celebration in New Orleans throughout the year, including the Mardi Gras festival.

Buying Mardi Gras Umbrellas

  • Many online shops sell Mardi Gras costume umbrellas. Many are simple, light parasols in traditional Mardi Gras colors, but you can buy applique designs to add. Because Mardi Gras is most famous for its masquerade festivals, these elaborate and elegant items of headwear are a good choice for a costume theme. Many designs incorporate the history and culture of New Orleans' second line dances, such as the jazz tradition.

Homemade Mardi Gras Umbrellas

  • Decorating your own Mardi Gras umbrella will make it unique and gives you the freedom to make it as outlandish and eye-catching as you dare. The umbrella traditionally accompanies an extremely bright costume. No rules apply to the costume's design, except that it should be bright and colorful.

Creating Your Own Mardi Gras Umbrella

  • To create a Mardi Gras umbrella, start with a basic umbrella in a traditional Mardi Gras color or a simple sun parasol. Search for tassels, beads and sequins at fabric and craft stores. You can also sew or glue feathers or patterned ribbons to the top of the umbrella, hanging down. The second line dance can be energetic; attach hanging pieces carefully so the decorations won't come apart during the parade.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Decorate a Mardi Gras Party

    No Mardi Gras party is complete without decorations. To get your guests into the spirit of the season, plan well in advance...

  • Mardi Gras Office Party Ideas

    Working through the winter when summer seems a long way off can cause your office to be hit with the winter blues....

  • Ideas for Mardi Gras Costumes

    Dressing in costume for Mardi Gras, the celebration before Lent, is a traditional part of the festivities. Revelers dress in full costume...

  • Homemade Mardi Gras Costume Ideas

    "Mardi Gras" is a French term that translates to "Fat Tuesday." Mardi Gras is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in the Christian...

Related Searches

Check It Out

13 Delicious Thanksgiving Sides That'll Make Turkey Insignificant

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!