Fun Facts

Mardi Gras Terminology

FAVOR: Gift or souvenir given by a Mystic Society member, usually at a bal masque, often depicting the years’ theme.

DOUBLOON: die struck, usually aluminum, coins bearing the society emblem and current theme.  Thrown by maskers and highly collectible 

MARSHALL: A mystic member who rides masked and costumed on horseback between floats during a parade throwing trinkets from his saddlebag.

COSTUME DE RIGUER: The formal attire required for those attending a bal masque held by a mystic society.  Generally white tie and tails for gents and full length gown for ladies.

MOON PIE: First thrown by Mobile mystic societies, this traditional marshmallow cookie has become a staple throw over the decades here and elsewhere.

BOEUFF GRAS: French, literally ‘Fatted (Gras) Ox (Boeuf)’.  Traditional 16th Century Pre-Lenten feast first observed in Mobile in 1703

CORONATION: The formal event surrounding the king’s crowning of his queen.  The public is welcome by ticketed admission.

FLOAT BARN: The warehouse in which a mystic society stores and builds its floats.

CALL OUT: The presentation of favors by Mystics or Royalty to honor those in attendance, usually in exchange for a dance

KING CAKE: The traditional ring shaped pastry iced with purple, green and gold (sugar).  The finder of the hidden king baby gives the next king cake party.

TABLEAUX: A themed performance taking place at a bal masque involving skits, plays, music and choreography mystics are the players

BARRICADES: Fencing designed to keep revelers a safe distance from the heavy parade floats.  

DEN: The term used to describe the secret meeting place of a Mystic Society.

BAL MASQUE: (pronounced ball mask) The formal masked ball of a mystic society

MYSTIC SOCIETY: A secret organization that presents parades, bal masques, and other activities for the revelry and enjoyment of all.  

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