Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras!!

 Unless you know someone involved in Mardi Gras or live near a community that celebrates it, it can be confusing over what all of the fuss is about.  Therefore, I want to give you a quick primer.

The words Mardi Gras are French in origin and translate in English to Fat Tuesday.

There are three colors used in association with Mardi Gras.  These colors each have a specific meaning.
Purple represents justice, gold represents power and green represents faith.

Mardi Gras always starts on January 6th.  This date is also recognized as the twelfth day of Christmas or Epiphany.

There are many celebrations, but each night is capped off with a parade of revelers.  The revelers are also  called members of the krewe.  These members are usually selected by a certain ceremonial practice.  The societies have many by laws and secret ways in which they conduct their business.  When celebrating in public the traditional masks are worn, so that the member remains anonymous to those around him/her.

Many people attend the parades seeking out the many throws that can be obtained from the revelers.  The krewe members riding the floats will "throw" candies, trinkets, and baubles, to the crowds.  In Mobile, AL, candy is thrown along with the little treasures.  New Orleans Mardi Gras does not allow candy and foods to be thrown due to their city being below sea level.  Above you see a picture of the beads.  Beads have become synonymous with Mardi Gras.  Although, some will tell you it is tradition, one doesn't have to lift their shirt in order to obtain them.  

Moon Pies are a staple of Mardi Gras that have been around since I can remember.  I don't eat them often, but when I do I am usually flooded with memories from Mardi Gras past.

Above is a King Cake.  It is adorned with the three traditional colors and represents each of the Wise Men who came to find and see the baby Jesus on the Twelfth Day of Christmas.  Initially, it was baked in a round form to symbolize the circular route the Magi took in order to confuse King Herod, whose army was attempting to follow the wise men so that the Christ Child could be killed.  In recent years,  bakers have placed a small plastic Baby Jesus in the King Cakes as a surprise gift for the person lucky enough to get the piece with the figure inside.

There is much more to teach and learn about Mardi Gras, but for now we will call it a day!!

Put your shirts down and let's go grab an RC and a Moon Pie!!

Big Daddy of the Wannabe Mystics

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Great post! I love being married to you. You're the smartest person I know!!!
Love & God's blessings,
Sarah :D