30. Eat Popeyes on Fat Tuesday
It is a beloved local tradition that Popeyes (founded, of course, in NOLA) is always open on Mardi Gras Day. Go early, get a big box of chicken and biscuits, and share with friends. This is the path to enlightenment.
31. See all the pretty, pretty Indians on Super Sunday
This is one Mardi Gras tradition that truly needs to be witnessed to be understood and fully appreciated (even if it happens to occur after Mardi Gras). Track down a tribe and follow them as they chant, dance, and confront other, gorgeously costumed Indians with their flag boys, spy boys, and, of course, the big chief, all with the distinctive rhythms, cadences, and songs of this heralded culture. You want to truly experience New Orleans? Here you go. Won’t bow down, don’t know how!
32. Survive the Ash Wednesday hangover
With all of the good times and revelry of Mardi Gras comes the inevitable crash, which is going to suck, no matter how you put it. Even if you don’t imbibe, there’s always something just a little sad and gray about putting Carnival season to bed for the year. But there are three upshots: 1) everyone knows and understands what you’re going through, and their empathy is both real and abundant, 2) time to start planning for next year! and 3) Jazz Fest is right around the corner, ya heard?