Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

20 Delightfully Shameless Pictures From Mardi Gras History

Since Louisiana's first recorded Mardi Gras in 1699, revelers have celebrated this iconic Lenten tradition with vibrant parades, costumes, food, and music.

Posted on February 25, 2020, at 2:31 p.m. ET

Love photography as much as we do? Sign up for the BuzzFeed News newsletter JPG for behind-the-scenes exclusives from renowned photographers and our hard-hitting photo stories.

Getty Images

A Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, 1907.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A parade during Mardi Gras, 1925.

Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

Four ladies sit in a flower-decorated automobile for Mardi Gras, 1905.

Bradley Smith (Left) / Genevieve Naylor (Right) via Getty Images

Left: A clown is dressed, circa 1950. Right: Peter Peterson, the newly crowned "King of Harlem" for the 1953 New York Mardi Gras celebration, dances with his wife.

Universal History Archive / Getty Images

A Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, 1890.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Mardi Gras, 1933.

William Vandivert / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Left: A costumed man on the sidewalk during Mardi Gras celebrations, 1938. Right: Three men wearing lingerie stand among the crowd during Mardi Gras, 1938.

Three Lions / Getty Images

People celebrate Mardi Gras in tinfoil balaclavas, circa 1955.

Bradley Smith / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images

Left: A neighborhood gathers for a Mardi Gras parade, circa 1950. Right: A woman dances in a hula skirt, circa 1950.

Pictorial Parade / Getty Images

Mardi Gras floats travel down Canal Street in New Orleans, circa 1950.

Getty Images

Left: People dressed as clowns on a Mardi Gras float, circa 1950. Right: A group dressed as Wizard of Oz characters at a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, circa 1955.

Ullstein Bild Dtl. / Getty Images

Mardi Gras, 1939.

Getty Images

Left: A group of girls in sunflower costumes, circa 1955. Right: Six princesses ride a parade float in their formals, circa 1950.

Photoquest / Getty Images

A Mardi Gras float representing the signs of the zodiac, 1950.

William Vandivert / Getty Images

A group of people in costumes sit on the sidewalk and prepare for the Mardi Gras celebration, 1938.