Another year and Mardi Gras is here! Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" in French, but it’s more than just a day of celebrating; it’s a state of mind. After the holidays and before the end of winter sets in, it’s a season meant to revel in all the richness that life has to offer, whether it’s spending time with family, eating yummy foods, or playing tricks on one another.
Mardi Gras will be celebrated on Feb 21st this year. In New Orleans, where the Mardi Gras Carnival is most celebrated, the streets will fill with floats, drinks, and merriment. The people will don the gold, green, and purple of the tradition and carry on well into the night and next day. "Rex" or the "King of Mardi Gras Carnival" will be most likely glittered more than any of the other "royalty".
Have you ever eaten a shrimp Po' Boy while standing in the middle of a crowd during a celebration? Have you danced in the middle of the street while following a band? Have you tasted spicy corn and red potatoes with turkey necks and crawfish? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you could have possibly been in New Orleans.
My daughter and her family now live in Alabama, and we’ve discovered Mardi Gras is quite a big event there. They attend many parades and come home with multicolored beads, moon pies, and stuffed animals thrown to spectators from the floats. School is even dismissed for two days. Their dog, Penny, has her own Mardi Gras cape that she wears to the pet parade. I thought Mardi Gras was only celebrated in New Orleans. I discovered instead that it is celebrated in many countries around the world.