Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Colorful Mardis Gras Celebration

Please pardon me for my long delay between postings. I was in New Orleans celebrating Mardis Gras and have been recovering ever since. For those who don’t know about "Mardi Gras:" It is French for "Fat Tuesday," and it falls on the last day before the Catholic observance of Lent. Fat Tuesday refers to the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the fasting of the Lenten season, which starts on Ash Wednesday.

One of the things we did in honor of Mardis Gras and the Red Shirts, I joined with my fellow Orange Shirt patriots from New Orleans was to consumed a King's Cake:  a cinnamon roll-like cake with sugary icing and traditional Mardis Gras colors: gold (for power), green (for faith) and purple (for justice). 

A King Cake is a New Orleans tradition served after January 6th until Mardi Gras Day. The cake had a small trinket (often a small toy baby or half of a pecan, sometimes said to represent the Christ child) inside.  The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket gets to be "King for a Day" (and historically, gets to be in charge of providing the next cake, but that doesn't seem as fun).  

Mardi Gras can be described as a celebration of vice before forty days of, well, supposed virtue. It’s one of those fun curiosities about the culturally Christian world: People eat and drink gluttonously as a sort of religious observance.

The point of Mardi Gras, then, becomes to jam yourself so full of what you're giving up that you won't even miss it during Lent. For instance, if you cram so much chocolate in your mouth on Tuesday that the thought of chocolate on Wednesday makes you want to hurl, you have fulfilled one of the true purposes of Mardi Gras.

Another tradition and purpose of Mardi Gras is the collection of colorful strings of beads by those who flash boobs at strangers.
No, not those kind of boobs. 

These kind:

The Orange Shirts in New Orleans really don’t like the Yellow Shirted PAD. This is evident here.  And speaking of exposing boobs:

Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Let the Good Times Roll!