Life in the closing days of the empire
So, educate me (us?) about Mardi Gras. It's not part of my cultural experience. Is that because I didn't grow up in the south (or in France?) or because I'm not Catholic? Do folks who do MG in the South tend to be Catholic? I've observed Lent before, but more for a challenge than any sort of religious observance.
Shelley - MG is 'Fat Tuesday' which is the day before Ash Wednesday. Tradition is to eat all of your fatty and rich foods before the start of Lent. Lent etc is a Catholic observance and not just a French or Southern thing...it is observed all over the world, Mardi Gras is just done best in NOLA.Toad - So very true! I was so happy to see Mardi Gras continue after Katrina!
I did not know that about Mobile, interesting.
Shelley: before Vatican II in the late 60's loosened things quite a bit, Catholics around the world needed a chance to blow off a bit of steam before the restrictions of Lent. Hence a big party before Ash Wednesday, much like a bear putting on salmon before winter hibernation. It eased the way.Mardi Gras is the same celebration, different name, as Carnival in Brazil and the West Indies.In NOLA with so many crewes participating festivities begin shortly after New Years Day
James, yes- Mobile also has the distinction of having been under the control of French, Spanish, British and of course, American forces. It has quite the history.Toad- thank you. As a southerner, I appreciate when someone recognizes the good that is in my area. As I have said before, there is of course, the negative, but I choose to embrace the good.
Mardi Gras and the carnival Season are so much more than just a day of pigging out on fatty foods for a day before lent begins. It is a major part of life for many a person, frequently requiring year round participation.The image that Mr. Manner-born here has selected to represent New Orleans Carnival though is a bit misleading. That is an image of a Venetian Carnival mask. It's not even from this continent.IF anyone is interested in learning about the world of Carnival and Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the please read this A-Z on "Seersucker and Sazeracs" ( http://seersuckerandsazeracs.com/display/Search?searchQuery=Carnival+A-Z )
If you start reading at Antoine's you can navigate to each subsequent item in the series using links at the top of each article.
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