Sunday, November 18, 2007

Unmasking Mardi Gras

Farewell to meat
Continuing on our discussion about Mardi Gras -- everyone knows about the Big Day, "Fat Tuesday" (the literal translation) -- the last day before Lent begins, and fasting and abstinence from meat lasts for 40 days. The Carnival (Carne vale-- farewell to meat) . "Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we fast."

Maybe lesser known is that the Mardi Gras celebration has a lot of other parts to it -- the marching clubs, the balls, the parades in advance, the King Cake parties.... (see MSNBC --"Best Mardi Gras Traditions" ) This is a photo of one of the marching clubs that trek down St. Charles Avenue before Rex and his Krewe of paraders signify the official start of the Mardi Gras day parades.

But the official beginning of the Carnival Season is Twelfth Night -- twelve days after Christmas -- also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. This is the official day that the King Cake parties begin. Don't fear that you are halfway around the world. You can order your King Cake on the internet.

The parades actually roll on nights and weekends for several weeks before the big party.

Here's a site that will get you some good background on the whole thing. Mardi Gras Unmasked

And here's the parade schedule for this year which starts with the Krewe de Vieux on January 19. Mardi Gras is February 5 -- one of the earliest Mardi Gras possible.

Come back, we'll talk more.

-- steve buser

So a dragon suddenly appears in the middle of the fair clanging around on its metal rails, spreading terror and fear. What are we to do? Fearlessly steps forward the Dragon Rider Extraordinaire. He of slight height and boundless bravery.... stand aside. Today on Pixel Eyed.

More Holiday Traditions on City Daily photo blogs today:

Christmas Tree @ Raffles City Shopping Centre -- The Keropok - Singapore Daily Photo
Red Week : The Red "Army" -- Montego Bay Day by Day
I Was Observing An Animal 'Shoot'-- Newcastle (AU) City Photo


NorthBayPhoto said...

Great shot and information in today's post.

Thanks for visiting my NorthBayPhoto blog.

lv2scpbk said...

colorful customs.

I posted a photo of deer today, at least my version. The only one's I could get. And, some snow on my personal blog.

Gwen said...

Like the hats and costumes. What are those colorful creations some of them are carrying? Looks like a very festive club march. Enjoying your background history on Mardi Gras :)

Rich said...

An intriguing shot... The main guy's expression is unusual!
Planet Earth Daily Photo

Abraham Lincoln said...

Interesting photos and narrative, Steve.

• Eliane • said...

Er... someone was complaining about how Thankgiving should come before Christmas (something about the overcommercialization of the holiday season). But, I see that it is already Mardi Gras. Jesus Christ, time flies!

Wanda said...

Very interesting picture and narative...always learn something new at your post!!

julia said...

a comment from the undead: This post is full of surprises.

Deslilas said...

One carnaval but lots of breakfasts !
Good to remember the first meaning of our words.

Gwen said...

ha! Eliane, ha ha! But for me, Mardi Gras is a separate division of festivities that's outside of the holiday timeline.