via IB Times
What are Mardi Gras masks all about?
Hundreds of years ago, masks were used to integrate people of all social classes. For a few days, these masks allowed people to socialize with others despite their social ranking.
The reason behind bead throwing:
This tradition began in 1872 with the king of the first daytime Carnival. He decided that the colors of the beads would be represented by royal colors; purple, gold & green. The purple stood for justice, the gold stood for power and the green stood for faith. Originally, you would toss the color-coded bead to people who personified the color’s meaning.