Mardi Gras Coloring Pages

I honestly just love Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, even though I’ve never even been to New Orleans or Rio. It’s a fun little holiday that usually happens right at a time when you’re really sick of winter and need a lift. Mardi Gras is so colorful and can be a bright spot.

Just last week, we went to Sesame Place because we had a rarely winter day when it was in the 60s. Their new Mardi Gras parade plus the weather was the perfect excuse to get out of the house.

Mardi Gras Coloring Pages with mask

What is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is a French term. Mardi Gras literally means Fat Tuesday.

It has a history in being a sort of religious holiday. Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday or the beginning of Lent.

Lent is a Christian-observed period of fasting and preparing for the arrival of Jesus on Easter Sunday. No, no one fasts for 40 days. According to the bible, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert. So Christians commemorate that with their own period of “doing without” but not usually a full fast.

I was raised both Polish Catholic and in PA Dutch Country, so my household observes both Paczki Day and Fastnacht Day.

Pagan Origins of Mardi Gras

Most people think of Mardi Gras and the Shrove Tuesday traditions (referenced above) as being Christian in nature. However, it is known that hundreds of years ago, Christians ‘hijacked’ the Pagan holidays in order to gain more followers.

The Pagans celebrated spring and fertility. Their celebratory traditions have evolved into many of the Spring and Easter symbols we see–such as eggs (fertility!), bunnies, flowers and baby chicks.

Mardi Gras Colors

Most Mardi Gras-themed decorations and celebrations you see have the colors of gold, green and purple. In fact, the Mardi Gras parade at Sesame Place had all the characters adorned in traditional Mardi Gras colors.

Why is that?

Well, there’s a lot of debate about that.

Some folklore suggests that purple represents justice. Green is said to represent faith. And, what is gold? It is said to represent power.

And that’s why they were chosen. Other history documents that French explorers brought the Mardi Gras traditions and colors to New Orleans. And, even other history lists that the Mardi Gras colors were chosen at random with no reasoning at all.

But, hey, the color combinations and Mardi Gras masks are pretty to look at!

Mardi Gras Coloring Pages

So here you go. First there is a preview of the PDF coloring pages. You can flip through the Mardi Gras masks and other symbolism and choose which ones to print. Then, if you scroll down, you’ll see the PDF Mardi Gras coloring pages.

If you are printing these Mardi Gras Mask Coloring Pages at school or your place of employment, make sure you know where your things download to.