Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras!

The Leviathan Float from Orpheus

Yes, sir, it is Mardi Gras again, and I am ready to let the good times roll! I lived in New Orleans for three years, and let me tell you, Mardi Gras is crazy-time in that town;) All the natives leave and the city triples in size, full of tourists looking to catch some beads and raise a little ruckus. I went to a few parades every year, never really went all that wild, and had a fabulous time anyway (and came home with a ton of beads, plastic cups, doubloons, and moon pies). My faves were always from the Krewes of Orpheus and Endymion, but I went to Rex a few times too, though it was not as exciting as it sounded.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans isn't as unique as you might think, and it certainly isn't new: Carnival actually goes back hundreds of years, with its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia. It wasn't until 1857 that the first Krewe, Comus, threw the first parade, and Mardi Gras really became Mardi Gras. Since then, every year grown-ups put on crazy wigs and masks and costumes, climb onto floats with their fellow Krewe members, and throw beads and cups and such at the people lined up four and five-deep along the parade route. Floats are brightly lit and elaborate, costumes sparkle and shine, and the crowds are just as dressed up (or down) as the people on the floats riding by. It's fun, and it celebrates the spirit of a city that seems to welcome everybody, no matter how crazy they are;)

New Orleanians (or probably tourists) trying to catch as many beads as possible

The Endymion Parade

A float in Rex

 Truly, I wish I was there today, and not just for the warmer weather;) What about you, dear readers? What plans do you have for Fat Tuesday?

1 comment:

Kimba said...

We started the day with Paczis and this evening will be a full out cajun dinner, complete with beads and hurricanes to drink! As much as I hate the masses on Bourbon Street on days like today or Halloween, I hope to go back to NOLA sometime soon!