Mardi Gras throws

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Tree covered with Mardi Gras beads

Mardi Gras throws are strings of beads, doubloons, cups, and other trinkets passed out or thrown from the floats in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parades to spectators lining the streets. The "gaudy plastic jewelry, toys, and other mementos [are] tossed to the crowds from parading floats".[1] Mardi Gras celebrations in other Gulf Coast cities, such as Mobile and Lafayette, have adopted the custom. "The goodies, or 'throws,' consist of necklaces of plastic beads, coins called doubloons, which are stamped with krewes' logos, parade themes and the year, plus an array of plastic cups and toys such as Frisbees or figurines".[1] The cups that are used as throws are sometimes referred to as New Orleans dinnerware.[2]

Spectators have traditionally shouted to the krewe members, "Throw me something, mister!", a phrase that is iconic in New Orleans' Mardi Gras street argot. Some women expose their breasts to invite throws.[3][4]

Some krewes have specialty throws;[citation needed] for example, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club hand-painted coconut[5] or the Krewe of Muses shoes and mirrors.


  1. ^ a b Roach, John (February 20, 2004). "The Rich History of Mardi Gras's Cheap Trinkets". National Geographic News. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mardi Gras New Orleans". Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  3. ^ Shrum, W. and J. Kilburn. Ritual Disrobement at Mardi Gras: Ceremonial Exchange and Moral Order. Social Forces, Vol. 75, No. 2. (December 1996), pp. 423–458.
  4. ^ Mardi Gras History and Traditions
  5. ^ New Orleans Mardi Gras. "Zulu Mardi Gras Coconut"