Drinking and Mardi Gras go hand in hand. The festive season meant as a prelude to the Christian holiday Lent, in which observers forgo certain earthly pleasures during 40 days of penance, brings out the partier in almost everyone. Whether you’re at the heart of the celebration or observing from a safe distance, Mardi Gras drinking games are a great way to keep the party going.
Letting loose has become synonymous with Mardi Gras celebrations around the U.S., but sometimes the result has been less than a good time. Last year saw the busiest Mardi Gras night on record for New Orleans emergency crews, who responded to nearly 2,150 calls during the carnival season’s 10 parade days, according to the Times-Picayune. In contrast, law-enforcement authorities recorded a big drop in the number of arrests made, to 421 in 2014 from 879 in 2013. They attributed the decline to rainy weather that dispersed crowds earlier than expected.
To help maintain the spirit of the Mardi Gras season, here are seven drinking games to play at a party, whether mobile or immobile. Commit to one, two or all seven, but always remember to drink responsibly!
Drink Every Time ...
... You see someone pick beads up off the floor. This Mardi Gras faux pas is a breach of etiquette. Not to mention it’s a safety hazard: “We guarantee your fingers will never be the same,” Mardi Gras New Orleans explains.
... You walk by someone passed out on the street. And then have a glass of water, lest you end up next to him.
... You hear someone use a French phrase. That includes “Mardi Gras,” among other traditional carnival phrases such as the popular “Laissez les bons temps rouler,” meaning “Let the good times roll!”
... You encounter a sober celebrator. Hey, someone has to take that extra shot!
... You see someone get pelted with a string of beads. When whirled around with ferocious purpose, those plastic beads can quickly become loaded projectiles. Drink now, so that when that moment comes, it’ll sting just a little less.
... You or a friend gets hit in the face by someone’s feather headdress. This one’s bound to happen eventually, as big, bold, elaborate costumes are a staple of any Mardi Gras celebration.
... You catch a Zulu coconut. Sometimes called “golden nuggets,” these coveted Mardi Gras treasures are often elaborately painted and are passed out by one of the parade’s krewes, or hosts. Getting your hands on a Zulu coconut is an honor worth toasting.