The first American Mardi Gras celebration was held near New Orleans in 1699. This year's celebration will culminate February 5th, continuing a 309-year tradition. If you plan to attend a Mardi Gras celebration, a fanciful mask is a must. There are a million styles to choose from, but something about a black cat mask holds universal appeal. View fun examples here. The mask pictured above is part of a papier mache collection from Venice Masked Ball in the United Kingdom (UK).