by Lydia Schrandt for USA TODAY 10Best

10 ways to celebrate Mardi Gras from home

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Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s Mardi Gras will look a bit different. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Here are 10 ways to enjoy Mardi Gras from home.

1. Decorate in green, gold and purple

Purple, green and gold, the traditional colors of Mardi Gras, are said to represent justice, faith and power respectively.

2. Have a seafood boil

The annual Mardi Gras festivities typically overlap with the start of crawfish season in the South. If you can't find crawfish, go with shrimp, crab legs or lobster tails.

3. Eat a king cake

Each cake has a tiny plastic baby hidden inside, meant to represent baby Jesus. According to tradition, the person who finds the baby is King for a day and must host the next king cake party.

4. Mix a Mardi Gras martini

Now that you’ve had dinner and dessert, it’s time to wash it all down with a Mardi Gras-themed martini, like the Queen Lily Martini from the family at Bayou Terrebonne Distillers in Houma, Louisiana.

Photo courtesy of Visit Lake Charles

5. Make a shoebox float

For a family-friendly Mardi Gras activity, decorate your own shoebox float, inspired by the intricate floats of the annual parades.

6. Learn some Cajun French

Get ready for future in-person celebrations by learning a few words and phrases associated with the season.

Let the good times roll: laissez les bon temps roulez

Cajun dance party: fais do-do

Parade: défilé

Photo courtesy of Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

7. Snack on some MoonPies

Forget beads! In the town of Mobile, Alabama (where the first Mardi Gras celebration in the United States was held in 1703), MoonPies rank among the most coveted parade throws.

8. See some house floats

Instead of parade floats, many residents of New Orleans and other communities have decorated their homes instead.

9. Dress up your dog

Enter your pup into the Mardi Paws Costume Contest benefiting the St. Tammany Parish Dept. of Animal Services.

Photo courtesy of Louisiana Office of Tourism

10. Take a virtual tour of Mardi Gras World

Get a behind-the-scenes look at a Mardi Gras tradition with a virtual tour of the enormous float-filled warehouse.

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