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.
Mardi Gras masks feature styles such as the domino mask and cats eye mask that cover your eyes and nose, a half-face mask that covers from your forehead to your upper lip and full face masks that go from forehead to chin. Typically, they are secured with an elastic band. Mardi Gras masks are ornate, having adornments such as glitter, gold braiding, sequin, jewels and feathers. The traditional colors are purple, green and gold but you can wear whatever style and color mask you like.