A Christian holiday and popular cultural phenomenon, Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites.
Lighting up the sky with heavy blazing torches, the flambeaux carrier originally served as a beacon for parade-goers to better enjoy the spectacle of night festivities.
On Mardi Gras of 1857, the Mystick Krewe of Comus held its first parade. Comus is the oldest continuously active Mardi Gras organization and is considered the first Carnival krewe in the modern sense.
By dawn on that most famous Tuesday, people have claimed the best spots on the streets to watch fabulous floats, outrageous performers, and visiting celebrities go by.
Throws started in the 1920s when Rex and a few other Krewes started throwing small trinkets.
In Ireland, Australia, and Canada, Mardi Gras is known as "Pancake Tuesday", while in Britain it is popularly known as "Pancake Day“.