Mardi Gras in the Melting Pot: Although Mardi Gras is basically a Catholic holiday, today it is party for everyone. This is especially true in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana which can be credited for introducing this tradition. Mardi Gras first came to New Orleans through French Culture in the year 1699 when the French explorers celebrated the holiday on the Mississippi River. Over the years, the celebration has witnessed growing national attention with many parades and parties coming in to add to its hue and flavor. Despite the Hispanic invasion later the celebration has not lost its original French influence. Today though it is celebrated with much fanfare as a public holiday only in the southern states of Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, its fame gradually extended nationwide. The French tradition apart, influences of the Germans, as well as the British are evident in the day's customs across the world.