A Mardi Gras Table Setting Celebration

Did you celebrate Mardi Gras this year?  I know almost nothing about Mardi Gras but per Wikipedia, Mardi Gras is the “Carnival Season: and it starts on or after Epiphany and ends the day before Ash Wednesday.  Mardi Gras is actual a French word meaning Fat Tuesday.  Apparently, it’s called Fat Tuesday because on the last night before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season (which begins on Ash Wednesday) those celebrating the occasion eat lots of rich, fatty foods.

Wikipedia goes on to say that folks celebrate Mardi Gras by wearing masks and costumes, but it didn’t really say why.  Ummm, guess it’s just another way of celebrating.  Mardi Gras has always been a bit of a mystery to me, but it certainly seems to be a fun celebration with lost of colorful decorations.  Do you celebrate Fat Tuesday?  Have any fun Mardi Gras stories to share?

My friend, Bonnie and her hubby Leon, celebrated Mardi Gras with a dinner party with friends.  Bonnie put together a beautiful tablescape for the occasion.

Mardi Gras Table Settings

Isn’t this mask amazing?  Bonnie and Leon found it on a previous trip to New Orleans.  Love how Bonnie used pearls in her centerpiece as well as the usual Mardi Gras beads.

Mardi Gras Table Settings

Bonnie had the perfect plates for this Mardi Gras dinner party.  Purple dinner plates and purple stemware are fabulous colors for a Mardi Gras setting.

Mardi Gras Table Settings

Notice how the rim of the Mardi Gras salad plates compliment the gold chargers.  I love this combination of gold and purple…so fun!

Mardi Gras Table Settings

A Mardi Gras tablescape is one place where you can go all out and let your hair down.  It’s impossible to be too flamboyant or too festive!

Mardi Gras Table Settings

Mardi Gras masks make wonderful napkin holders for this festive table setting.

Mardi Gras Table Settings

Bonnie found these wonderful plates in Marshalls.  Love them!

Mardi Gras Table Settings

Did you celebrate Mardi Gras this year?  Have you ever been to New Orleans for this celebration?  Any funny Mardi Gras stories you can share?

Mardi Gras Table Settings

Salad plates are from Marshall’s
Purple plates were a gift.
Chargers – Pier 1
Flatware – Ross
Glasses – Bought at the coast years ago
Little masks used for napkin rings – Pier 1 at Christmas

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  1. Susan,
    I’ve never been to New Orleans…
    this is a beautiful tablescape!!!
    I, too, adore the gold and purple dinnerware and stemware!
    We do celebrate Fat Tuesday at our local Church with a Pancake Feed
    which supports our Youth! Always attend Ash Wednesday services!!!
    Thanks for sharing your friends festive tablescape with us!!!
    Truly an inspiration!!!

  2. I was in New Orleans in 2000, it was my favourite place in all America but not at Mardi Gras time, I would love to go then but another trip to USA is not on the cards.

  3. Perfect that you had those perfect plates to use for your setting….what a fun tablescape!

  4. I am stealing those accent plates!

    I lived in New Orleans as a young adult, and Mardi Gras was a trip, let me tell you. I lived in a rat-hole apt at 3100 St Charles, and it had a rickety balcony that I could watch the parades from. It has gotten crazier in the decades since and actually rather dangerous, I hear. I love the old New Orleans that I remember.

  5. Mary from Virginia says

    What amazing plates! I have never seen anything like them; just beautiful. Bonnie always does an excellent job with her table.

    We don’t celebrate Fat Tuesday anymore. As a kid we always had pancakes on Fat Tuesday, attended Ash Wednesday mass and selected what we were giving up for Lent. It never seemed really fun or exciting to me as a child. I think the folks in New Orleans know how to celebrate!

  6. Helen Holshouser says

    What fun! How beautiful! My Red Hat group always celebrates Mardi Gras and how I would love to be able to set a table like this for them! I have the mask and beads…just need everything else! LOL I’m hunting Marshalls in the store and online to find those plates! How gorgeous! How about those gorgeous purple candle holders? How great! Do you know where they came from?
    As you said, Mardi Gras starts on Epiphany, Jan. 6, the day we celebrate the three kings finaaly having followed the star and gotten to Bethleham to visit the baby Jesus! One of the traditions on mati gras is to serve a “Kings Cake”. Somewhere in the king’s cake is imbedded a little plastic doll baby Jesus. The person who gets this treasure in their slice of cake, wins a prize, leads the parade, or has to give the Mardi Gras party the next year! My group does all three! Decor includes lots of gold chocolate coins, masks, and many,many beads (sometimes we play mardi gras trivia games to win more!). Even in restaurants, with permission, we don our masks, grab our kazoos,and parade around the restaurant and/or outside, weather permitting, playing When the Saints go Marching In! Some sing,some play, manyothers join us! So much fun! I believe the saying is “lassez le bon temps ruler!” We’re getting older, its time to break some rules andhave fun! kisses, Helen

  7. Perfect! I love the colors!!

  8. Ann S Mindicino says

    i have always wanted to go to Mardi Gras. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. I’ve been there but not at the holiday period. This table has everything I remember that represents Mardi Gras and in general, the flavor of New Orleans, I understand you really have to book your trip for this period very far in advance. I’ve always been a little confused about the details and between the information that you, Susan and some of the comments posted here I understand the details finally. It sounds like for those who celebrated that it was and is memorable and fun.

  9. I love the colors! The mask in the center of the table is a little scary but other than that, I really like it! 🙂

  10. Hm, I thought I left a comment. If so, please delete this one 🙂
    Here’s another shout out! Your site always rocks.


    • Thanks for the shout out Nancy…very sweet of you! I found your other comment in the Spam file. WordPress always tosses comments that have links in them into the spam file. I’m surprised it didn’t do that with your second one. I try to go through the file before I delete the comments because there’s often a few in there that don’t belong. Thanks again, Nancy!

  11. I love the Mardi Gras tablescape. Her dinnerware is wonderful and the mask from New Orleans is a real jewel. While I do not decorate my home for Mardi Gras, we do decorate our office. We keep a tree up all year and decorate it for many of the holidays. The tree now has purple, green & gold masks on it with lots of Mardi Gras beads. Such fun! I have been to New Orleans many times but have never been to Mardi Gras. I was in NOLA (New Orleans LA) 2 yrs ago in the French Quarter and found that it has changed a lot since Katrina. Now is the time to visit NOLA as it is not as crowded and the city is cleaner. NOLA definitely has a charm of it’s on. Now, that said, there is a very, very old town not far from my home in East Texas, called Jefferson and they celebrate Mardi Gras complete with parades, floats, beads and all the trimmings. It is not as big as what NOLA puts on but it draws a large crowd and fun is had by all.

  12. Lent is a very special, meaningful time of the year; therfore, we always try to celebrate Mardi Gras in some small way. Ths year some of the adults at the church taught the youth about Mardi Gras (except we call it Shrove Tuesday) and how it is a religious celebration that is unfortunately blown all out of proportion by the secular world. You can read about it here:

  13. Even though Mardi Gras is a much celebrated occasion, I have nothing in the way of decor except for some gold and green beads that I collected from a parade in Galveston. One of these days though, I’m going to get with it because it looks like there’s some very cool stuff with which to work.

  14. Hi Susan! Oh, what a darling tablescape. We have a pretty big Mardi Gras here in Galveston. Now I love your dishes and how you’ve used the little masks. The dishes are darling! You always amaze me with your tablescape talent!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  15. Bonnie certainly captured the spirit of Mardi Gras with her tablescape! Obviously she and Leon know how to “laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll!)


    What a wonderful tablescape.Your site is a special treat everyday.
    I have question about the vintage ceramic cocker spaniel dog figure sculpture on ball that you made into a lamp.I fell in love with it and have looked high and low since seeing it on your post.I have finally found one and purchased it.But I can find no markings at all.Would you happen to know who made it?
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Thanks, Vicki! I don’t think it had any markings on it. I don’t remember seeing any on it before it was attached to the base. I found it in a local antique store…but it’s not an antique.

      • Thanks,for your quick reply.I found a pair at an antique shop but they were priced way to high!
        Just found one on ebay this week.Can’t wait till he arrives.

  17. We love Mardi Gras here in the South, and I had so much fun decorating for it this year! I was amazed at how many things I had that are purple, gold and green, and was able to create a great tablescape without purchasing a thing! I would love to have those mask plates though, those are GORGEOUS! And I agree, there are no rules, you can go crazy- I raided my jewelry box and found lots of stuff to throw on the table! Thanks for showing us such a great table

  18. You and Bonnie never fail to amaze me with your tablescapes. Still think you two should publish a book showing all your tablescapes, what event or special occassion inspired you, source of your tablescapes (if known). I haven’t found any that I didn’t like!

  19. Bonnie is another one with a fabulous collection of tablescaping things!! I love the plates and the masks. The traditional Mardi gras colors are purple, gren and gold. Beautiful!!! XO, Pinky

  20. I love your blog! We celebrate Mardi Gras for what feels like a month here in NW Florida close to the Mobile, Alabama area. Mobile actually started Mardi Gras celebrations long before the city of New Orleans was even founded and it is much more of a family atmosphere than New Orleans. I am a member of a krewe of about 200 women and our theme is Greek mythology. We have a king and queen crowned at our coronation ball, we wear beautiful sequin lined toga style gowns, and we parade in beautiful masks like the ones in your tablescape. We throw stuffed animals, moonpies (microwave them for five seconds!) candy and beads The parading exists because it is incredibly fun and very wonderful to give the community a big ole smile! The parade isn’t the party for us, we have fun at the barns where our floats are kept (big warehouses) then continue to the parade site where all the floats line up and we trade bling and specialty beads. Bling are sparkle pins people have made, usually at Dynasty in Mobile, and are either inside jokes or commemorate being on a court, etc. We work hard on our floats, have charitable events, and meetings all throughout the year culminating in Mardi Gras. Many Krewes have a different theme, and almost all are not open membership. You have to be referred, sponsored, and sometimes voted in. There are also non-parading Krewes that just have a ball each year. One group I am in gives you a plain dress and a theme two weeks before the ball, and you must decorate your dress according to the hints. We have done themes like Wizard of Oz, baseball, the 20’s, or the circus to name a few. It is all crazy and a very different part of living in the south!

    • Brittney, that sounds like SO much fun! I def like the idea of it being more family oriented. Thanks for sharing how you guys celebrate. Someone mentioned on the BNOTP Facebook page that Mardi Gras began in Mobile. Funny how we all think it started in New Orleans. I guess because of all the wild partying there, everyone knows about it. I should visit Mobile for your celebrations one year. 🙂

  21. Joanne Lima says

    I absolutely love this Mardi Gras tablescape. I would love to find the mask plates. I can’t find them at Marshall’s (probably seasonal), nor can I find them anywhere else. Who is the maker of the plates? Perhaps I could start there. Our daughter’s wedding reception is a Mardi Gras theme and I would love a tablescape like this for the bride and groom.
    Thank you, Joanne

    • Hi Joanne,
      Oh dear… I hope I can help you. Sounds like these would be the perfect plates for your reception…
      The plates are marked “Muirfield”, then “9408 Celebrity” on the back. I got them many years ago at Marshall’s. Perhaps you may find some on eBay or even Replacements Ltd.
      Best of luck! Bonnie

      • Joanne Lima says

        Bonnie, thank you so much for the information. At least I have a starting point. I did find out that the plates are discontinued, but maybe I will be lucky enough to find at least 2 of them. I have checked Replacements and Ebay, but nothing right now. Surprisingly, with the same number, there are plates with Faberge eggs and some with angels. I will just keep looking.
        Thank you so much for the inspiration.

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  23. Stephanie Fontenot says

    I just love Mardi Gras! In fact I love it so much I was married in a traditional Cajun Mardi Gras run in 2002. My husband and I celebrate every year. And I am in love with those salad plates. I just haven’t been able to find them. I know they are Muirfield Celebrity 9408 nardi gras. But they are hard to find. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  24. Lynn Barnette says

    I see comments about the salad plates with the masks. But do not see any information. Can you tell me the manufacturer and the name of the pattern? Thanks so much.

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