Knights of Babylon Celebrates its 75th
The Knights of
Babylon was founded in 1939 by a group of professional men who
wanted to stage a first class parade for the public and a first
class tableau ball for their ladies.
Widely respected as one of the iconic New Orleans
Carnival organizations, Babylon annually presents the first
evening parade on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday.
Many people consider Babylon the kick-off parade for
Mardi Gras weekend, and it is not unusual to hear from a local
that, “Mardi Gras begins when Babylon rolls.” Originally
known as the Jesters Club, the Knights of Babylon organization
continues to adhere to the traditions of its founding members –
including the presentation of an elaborate and visually stunning
tableau ball and a formal supper dance thereafter.
Other Babylon traditions include keeping the identity of
its king, Sargon, secret; likewise, the theme of the parade
remains secret until Babylon stages for its traditional uptown
route. Sargon, king of
Assyria (722–705 b.c.), is reputed to have built the city of
namesake reigns over all the proceedings of the Knights of
Babylon’s parade and ball.
The majesty and
elegance of the Knights of Babylon is reflected in the name the
club’s founders chose for this perennial favorite Mardi Gras
organization. Babylon, the Capital of Babylonia, was the center
of civic, commercial and cultural life in ancient Mesopotamia,
which was within the borders of current-day Iraq. Babylon
became one of the most important cities of the ancient Middle
East when Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) made it the capital of his
kingdom of Babylonia. Today, the Knights of Babylon pay
homage to the splendor of this fabled ancient city by annually
presenting one of the most exquisite traditional Mardi Gras
parades, along with its attendant festivities, in the great and
indomitable city of New Orleans.
Post Office Box 15489 New Orleans, LA 70175