Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

In English ~ Let the good times roll!  It's Mardi Gras ~ Fat Tuesday~ a day of celebrations before fasting for Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.  While not a national holiday, Mardi Gras is celebrated in French populated cities across the country.  The best known of these is a favorite travel destination of mine; New Orleans.  Thousands of tourists flock to the French Quarter every year for parades, masked balls, good music and great food. 



The tradition of wearing costumes and masks to Mardi Gras events began as a way to allow the classes to mingle and people to behave in ways that would be considered unacceptable on any other day.  The krewes~ elite social clubs ~ that organized and hosted the events were secret societies, and the costumes and masks were an essential aspect to preserving their anonimity.



The traditional colors of purple, which symbolizes justice, green for faith and gold for power, were chosen by the krewe of the Rex parade in 1872 and used ever since.  Rex, King of the Carnival, also began the tradition that year of throwing items into the crowds lining the parade route.  The early throws were sugar coated almonds, but later glass beads in the holiday colors were used as well.



I will be celebrating Fat Tuesday by making one of my favorite recipies, Pasta Jambalaya from Mr. B's Bistro.  Is there anything special that you do to mark the day?  Please share; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

{All photos from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.}

4 comments:

  1. Our dream trip is a visit to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
    Over here we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. I make a mean pancake but know which I'd prefer!

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  2. Fascinating facts, I never knew why fancy dress was worn for Mardi Gras.
    Over here it's known as Shrove Tuesday, the town centre used to have pancake tossing races until the council banned them for being dangerous!! x

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  3. This is interesting! We don't have any particular tradition for this holiday, although anything that involves food is always one we'll try.
    One of my favorite-ever vacations was a week in New Orleans. It was a very sad time, two weeks after September 11, 2001, but almost all travel in the country had been cancelled. We had the hotels, restaurants, and city streets almost entirely to ourselves. Oh, did we eat!

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  4. I love the diversity
    of what I find here.....always interesting,
    always you.
    love and peace
    -Jen

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Dear friends,
Thank you for taking the time to comment! ! I want this to be a space of free and open dialog, within the boundaries of respect and basic human kindness. Whether we are in agreement or not, all comments will be published so long as they meet that requirement.
xo, Anita