New Orleans explodes into a carnival every year for Mardi Gras. And on that final day before the beginning of Lent, giant colorful floats parade down the city's streets. Groups known as "krewes" are responsible for planning and paying for the floats, but the hard work of building them is left to artists. Ninety percent of the floats are created in Mardi Gras World in New Orleans.
新奥尔良每年都会欢庆一年一度的狂欢节,节日期间,人们从各地汇集到这里。大型游行花车在狂欢节最后几天会驶进市中心,烘托气氛。这些花车由组织方安排计划并出资制作,但是具体搭建的繁重工作都是由工艺师来完成的。花车作坊“马尔迪格拉世界”负责搭建的花车多达90%。

The Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans may only last days, but it takes a whole year to prepare.
新奥尔良的音乐狂欢节可能仅持续几天时间,但是要用整整一年时间进行准备。

Artists are hard at work getting ready for next year's parade on February 21. Mardis Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday" and marks the last day of feasting before Lent, the 40-day period before Christians celebrate Easter.
工艺师们在为今年2月21号的游行使用的花车做艰苦的准备工作。马尔迪格拉是法语“油腻星期二”的意思,基督教徒欢庆复活节前要进行长达40天的斋戒,油腻星期二就是斋期到来前大吃大喝的最后一天。

Sean Lanny is making flowers at Mardi Gras World that will adorn some of the floats.
尚.兰尼在制作为点缀花车使用的手工花朵。

"We started in September making the flowers," said Lanny. "But the whole process starts earlier. It starts with the idea-making process then they have to draw pictures and it continues on. The art director and the artist get together and decide what is going to be the theme for the year and what each float is going to look like."
他说:“我们每年从9月就开始作花,但是整个过程还会更早。可以说是从创意程序之初就开始了,然后是勾画草图,设计图纸,逐步开始了。艺术指导和这些亲手制作的工艺师们要在一起决定主题是什么,还要讨论每一辆花车的设计特点。”

Mardi Gras World artists shape the props from Styrofoam or fiberglass. Then they're covered in papier-mache and painted. Many are recognizable: historical people or characters from films and popular culture. Some are more than five meters tall.
工艺师们用泡沫塑料或者玻璃纤维做出原型,然后包好纸形、涂上油漆。很多花车形象一眼就能看出来,有历史人物,或者是电影及流行文化中的人物造型。有些造型的高度甚至超过了5米。

Mardi Gras World is a family run-business started by a man named Blaine Kern in 1947.
马尔迪格拉世界是一个家庭作坊,起源于1947年,一名叫作布雷因.科恩的人开始做这个生意。

His grandson, Brian Kern, says that a lot has changed since then.
他的孙子布赖恩说,从那时到现在,各方面都发生了很大的变化。

"The original floats of New Orleans carried 12 riders on, now we are doing floats that with multiple sections can carry up to 250 people," Kern noted. "My father just wanted to push the envelope, make things larger, bigger prettier, more lighting, everything; it's just something we do."
他说:“新奥尔良的花车最初可以运载12人,而现在我们制作的花车可以分为不同的区域,最多可以运载250人。我父亲就是想挑战极限,把事情做得更大,让花车更大,更美,更多的彩灯,更多的装饰。这就是我们所做的事情。”

The floats are central to New Orleans' world famous parades, which have been taking place for around 150 years. Some of the floats are as long as 15 meters.
花车是新奥尔良世界闻名的彩车游行中最引人注目的部分,这里狂欢节庆祝游行的历史可以追溯到大约150年前。

Kern says the floats have helped to make Mardi Gras a major tourism attraction.
布赖恩.科恩说,花车游行已经使这个狂欢节成为一个主要的旅游景点。

"Mardi Gras, I think it defines the city," Kern added. "It's a billion-dollar industry. About 40,000 or 50,000 people actually participate in carnival krewes either in the parade or in the ball so it is a large part of our culture."
他说:“马尔迪格拉狂欢节就代表了这个城市的特点,狂欢节是一项10亿美元的生意。大约4到5万人亲自投身到狂欢节嘉年华会的组织中来,参加游行或舞会,因此,这已经成了我们文化中一个主要部分了。”

Mardi Gras World doubles as a workshop and a museum where tourists can look behind the scenes.
马尔迪格拉世界作为一个作坊和博物馆已经扩大了一倍,游人到这里可以了解狂欢节的幕后活动。

One visitor from New York said her partner had advised her against going to the festival.
一位从纽约来的游客说,她的伴侣建议她不要来这里参加狂欢节。

"He goes, "Oh no, you are not going to be happy with Mardi Gras.' So I said. 'OK,' but after seeing this, it just seems like a lot of fun, a lot of color, just a good time," she said.
这位女游客说:“他说,参加马尔迪格拉节你不会高兴的,我说那也没关系。但是看完这些场景,我觉得太有意思了,到处五颜六色,我感到非常快乐。”

A good time that takes a lot of hard work. The artists at Mardi Gras world will be working seven day weeks before the festival begins.
快乐时光的营造也是需要很多艰苦劳动的。马尔迪格拉世界的工艺师们将在狂欢节花车游行前放弃休息日,每周工作7天。