Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras Defined


I am from Louisiana, so I thought I would share some interesting history about something that is often associated with my beloved home state.

I found this from History.com:

Mardi Gras History

Also known as "fat Tuesday," this pre-Lenten festival is celebrated in Roman Catholic countries and communities. In a strict sense, Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday, is celebrated by the French as the last of the three days of Shrovetide and is a time of preparation immediately before Ash Wednesday and the start of the fast of Lent. Mardi Gras is thus the last opportunity for merrymaking and indulgence in food and drink. In practice, the festival is generally celebrated for one full week before Lent. Mardi Gras is marked by spectacular parades featuring floats, pageants, elaborate costumes, masked balls, and people dancing in the streets.

Mardi Gras originated as one of the series of carnival days held in all Roman Catholic countries between Twelfth Night, or Epiphany, and Ash Wednesday; these carnivals had their origin in pre-Christian spring fertility rites. The most famous modern Mardi Gras festivities are those held in New Orleans, La.; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Nice, France; and Cologne, Germany.

The first American Mardi Gras was celebrated near modern-day New Orleans on March 3, 1699. It wasn't until the mid-1800s did official parade organizations start to form with the Mystick Krewe of Comus in 1856 and the Krewe of Rex in 1872. The tradition is still carried on in New Orleans with many other krewes represented on floats in a myriad of parades. The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold (representing justice, faith and power).

Mardi Gras celebrations can start as early as January 6, on the feast of Epiphany. The festivities end at midnight on Tuesday--the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Mardi Gras day falls on any Tuesday between February 3 and March 9. Like Ash Wednesday, the date Mardi Gras falls on depends on the date of Easter--always occurring 46 days before Easter.

7 comments:

Chris O said...

I still think its just about getting loaded, flashing titties and get cheap plastic beads. Seriously, this is just like my birthday, Christmas and Valentines Day. My husband gets me drunk, I show him my boobs and he gives me jewelry. So I guess these are religious holidays too, because I'm always shouting for God or Jesus.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

OMG Chris O cracks me up! I so need her on my friend list too ... LOL. Can I friend poach? LOL

So don't even get me started on Mardi Gras and Potlucks. We had our today and let me just say the Chili Bake off Rocked, too bad we couldn't count votes! Ugh, ok I'm running away I need sleep. LOL

Much love darling you rock as always.

Chef E said...

Chris O. is a hoot...

The only time I flashed boobs to the public was one night on our way home from somewhere, hubby and I, and he said at 2 in the morning "It's Mardi Gras", so I got up out of the sun roof and lifted my top :) No one was even on that darn highway anyway, so I just flashed the street lights along the way...

Misadventurous Mommy said...

I swear one of these years I'm going to New Orleans during Mardi Gras (Um no boob flashing going on here though...I've had too many kids for that one)...I might try my hand at getting loaded but after 2 drinks I'm falling all over myself so that may not be a good idea!

Bee and Rose said...

This is one celebration I want to participate in before I die! I want to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras! We tried last year, but silly hubby had to go and have a dumb old triple bypass! Ugh! Party pooper!

Cold Spaghetti said...

Thanks for trying to get out the truth about Mardi Gras! We've been telling people for years that it's a family holiday and so, so much fun... but it's hard for people to let go of the tourist-inspired and supported stereotypes!