Get your Mardi Gras masks early because you'll need them long before Fat Tuesday. The carnival season officially kicks off on January 6th, also known as Twelfth Night. Per tradition, the night is marked with a masquerade ball. Everyone in attendance wears a mask. Sometimes they are formal black-tie affairs and other times they are costume parties. It all depends on who is hosting the party. In either case, you need a great mask that you can wear to the masquerade ball and again for Mardi Gras.
In New Orleans, carnival and Mardi Gras parties go on the entire week leading up to Mardi Gras day but, masks are only allowed to be worn on the streets on Tuesday. Picking a Mardi Gras mask is a matter of personal taste. You can wear a mask that covers just you eyes or a Venetian mask that covers your entire face. If you're the type that feels confined behind a mask, you can opt for a mask on a stick. The idea behind the mask is to hide your true identity, so the more elaborate and outrageous the mask, the more it will distract others from your real appearance.