Many Louisiana natives at NSU come from New Orleans and travel back during Mardi Gras to experience the annual holiday.
Freshman communications major Rob Devold, from the East part of New Orleans, is looking forward to seeing his family again.
“I haven’t been home in about two or three months now or just been around my family,” Devold said. “It’s a different world during Mardi Gras. Everyone is really nice and is always partying and having a good time.”
According to The History Channel website, some experts say that Mardi Gras festivities showed up as a result of the Catholic Church’s discouragement of sex and eating meat during Lent.
Junior Shania Dauterive of New Iberia, Louisiana explained the importance of the Mardi Gras tradition for her family.
“Mardi Gras in Louisiana is actually a Catholic holiday; I know because I myself am Catholic,” Dauterive said. “As horrible as it sounds, Fat Tuesday is actually a time for sin, meaning you can do whatever you want when you want. Leading into Ash Wednesday, it’s more of a day of cleansing.”
The New Iberia native said not many people understand the true meaning behind Mardi Gras.
“…Mardi Gras is more of a day of expressing all the things you need to release inside before the cleansing begins,” she said.
Others, like Sierra Sumler, celebrate Mardi Gras only as a tradition.
Sumler, a New Orleans native, has been an attendee of Mardi Gras throughout her whole life, with her family traditionally being a part of the historic Zula parade that celebrates African culture.
“Mardi Gras is unique because it’s like New Orleans’ own holiday,” Sumler said. “People from all over come to celebrate carnival season. Other holidays are more of family traditions…[Mardi Gras] is more of a celebration of fun.”
Mardi Gras break is Monday Feb. 27-28. Classes resume on Wednesday, March 1.