US-SOCIETY-CARNIVAL-NEW_ORLEANS-RELIGION

Under the Spell of Mardis Gras

New Orleans lets loose with beads, booze, costumes, and...coconuts?

The Fat Tuesday Alarm Clock EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images The Fat Tuesday Alarm Clock As tradition dictates, the Skull and Bone Gang rattles New Orleans' 6th Ward neighborhood of Treme before dawn's first light. Dressed and Ready EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images Dressed and Ready The Zulu Parade runs through New Orleans handing out coconuts, a particular tradition believed to have started around 1910. Here, Zulu King Brent D. Washington Sr. and his scepter. Dancing in the Streets EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images Dancing in the Streets Beyond coconuts, the Zulu Parade is also known for its dancers and performers. Deep Purple Erika Goldring/Getty Images Deep Purple Feathers and, well, some very intense imagery. Shake Them Bones EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images Shake Them Bones Early morning revelry with the Skull and Bone Gang in Treme. Soulful Warrior EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images Soulful Warrior Beads from Above EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images Beads from Above Ponies and Palm Trees EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images Ponies and Palm Trees A Little Brass EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images A Little Brass And a Good Time Was Had by All EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images And a Good Time Was Had by All