Today is Mardi Gras, in some places better known as Fat Tuesday and Shrove Day. The idea of it is simple, because the following day is Ash Wednesday where you have to give up something you really like for Lent. Fat Tuesday becomes your day to splurge and over do the things you will be giving up the next day. It is famous in New Orleans, along Bourbon Street, where the idea of throwing beads into the crowd from parade floats is the highlight for many.
How to celebrate – List the things you like to do most and figure out which you will be giving up. Throw a party. Wear a mask so no one knows who you are.
Since Wednesday is Ash Wednesday that means today is Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. It is the day where we eat what we want, parade around in a costume to disguise who we are and be a little naughty before we fast and get ready for Easter.
No place in the world celebrates Mardi Gras like New Orleans on Bourbon Street. Sometimes things get a bit out of control. Okay… all the time things get a lot out of control but it’s all in the name of fun. (Or at least it’s supposed to be) This year Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day… that ought to be confusing.
Naturally masks and beads make up a good deal of Mardi Gras. I am not exactly sure why, maybe the mask so we can hide from others that we are over indulging. The beads have turned into something a lot more fun, if you are a guy. They originally were designed to be a favor given to females for doing another sort of favor.
It is really all about the food though. Generally hot and spicy. (But you can enjoy it any way you like it) It is all about enjoying yourself before the sacrifice you are supposed to make. In Pennsylvania, among the Dutch and German people, the holiday is known as Fastnacht Day. Same difference though not so many masks and beads. (After all it’s cold in Pennsylvania this time of year.)
How to celebrate – Party!!! Try some new kind of food. Don’t forget the beads!!!
Fat Tuesday this year falls on February 28th, it varies every year pending on when Easter comes in the calendar. It is always the day before Ash Wednesday, when fasting is the tradition. It is the one day of the year where you can supposedly eat all you want of whatever you want. It is also known as Shrove Day and in predominantly German areas, such as Dutch Pennsylvania and well… Germany, it is know as Fastnacht Day.
The most famous place to be for Mardi Gras is Bourbon Street in New Orleans and things always get a little wild there. They seem to take it beyond the eat whatever you want theme to do whatever you want.
Somewhere along the line the idea of throwing beads to women was dreamed up. In theory, the idea is that men offer the women beads for doing something for the men. I think by now we all know what that “thing” is.
Things get so wild in New Orleans that shop m owners, bar owners, and owners of any business on Bourbon Street, most of which have balconies that hang over the street held up by poles, put Vaseline all over the poles so people cannot climb up them. So apparently, Fat Tuesday has turned into Do Whatever You Want Tuesday. I can only assume that the costumes are done so no one knows who did what when Ash Wednesday comes.
How to celebrate – Eat whatever you want today, and as much of it as you want to eat. Find a mask to cover up your face so no one knows who you are! Go to a pancake supper. Get beads. Get lots and lots of beads.