Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday around St. Joseph's Day
Super Sunday falls on Sunday, March 20, 2016
Aside from Mardi Gras Day, the most significant day for the Mardi Gras Indians is their Super Sunday. The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council always has their Indian Sunday on the third Sunday of March, around St. Joseph's Day. Their festivities begin at noon in A.L. Davis Park (at Washington & LaSalle Streets) where the Mardi Gras Indians once again dress in their feathers and suits and take to the streets to meet other "gangs".
Also, the Tamborine and Fan organization traditionally put on their annual "Super Sunday" parade on the Sunday closest to St. Joseph's Day, with their event beginning at Bayou St. John. In recent years, there has been yet a third Super Sunday called Big Sunday, which falls in April during the open weekend between French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest.
Nobody is completely certain when the tradition of Mardi Gras Indians "masking" on St. Joseph's night began. However, there have been reports of Indians on St. Joseph's night dating back to before World War I. The custom seems to have come about simply because it was a good opportunity. With all of the Catholic Italians celebrating this holiday in the streets, the Indians were able to blend in and celebrate as well.
Before 1969, the Indians celebrated by coming out at night to meet and greet other "gangs". In 1969, the first parade was created and rolled through town at night. In 1970, it was switched to a day parade on Sunday afternoon, and has continued in that tradition to this day.
An example of a Super Sunday procession is as follows:
- Begins at noon in A.L. Davis Park at Washington Avenue and LaSalle Street
- Starts on LaSalle
- Left at Martin Luther King Blvd
- Left at Claiborne
- Left at Washington Avenue
- Ends back at A.L. Davis Park
The daytime parades make the Indians accessible to the general public and allow visitors and locals alike to admire their amazing costumes, crowns, and accessories. If time permits, make it a point to take part in this very unique New Orleans tradition.
Super Sunday as well as all Indian parades and gatherings are highly susceptible to last minute cancellations and changes.
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