The first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans rolls, Saturday, January 19. But the official start of the Mardi Gras season has already passed -- Jan. 6. That's when the King Cake parties and the balls start.
Let's take it one at a time -- the first Parade is the Krewe du Vieux (pronounced crew du vue) -- a racous group that sprints and stumbles along its route through the Marigny and the lower French Quarter. The Krewe actually has four sub-Krewes. Check out their web site -- and make it to the bottom of the page to check out the sub-krewes' sites. ( the picture is from another parade -- not Krewe du Vieux, by the way)
Why is Mardi Gras starting so early? It's one of the rare years that come along about every 40 years. Mardi Gras is a moving holiday, based on when the Vernal Equinox occurs and how that falls in the Catholic Church's ecclesiastical calendar. It's all esoteric. But I did post an explanation last year if your that anal and have to know.
For you right brainers, just remember the big street party comes to an end at midnight on February 5 when Mardi Gras ends and Lent begins.
Now if you still with me. Here's a site with all the parade routes and a lot of information on the traditions of this famous four-week-long New Orleans party.
King Cake parties? Check here for background on this tradition.
Technorati tags: King Cake, Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras
Lagniappe -- ( a little something extra)
In Orange Texas, it's a Stark reminder of Texas social history.
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