Mardi Gras is french for Fat Tuesday also known as Shrove Tuesday. It is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Christian Lent. Fat Tuesday is meant for the last day you are supposed to be eating those richer foods. Many Christians give up sugar, processed, or other "tasty" foods for lent. Therefore Mardi Gras is a day to celebrate, eat your heart out, and enjoy many other celebratory traditions.
The Beads, Purple Green and gold are Christian symbols of justice, faith, and power. However when Mardi Gras became popular in the 19th century in New Orleans the throwing of the beads mimicoed when the king would throw fake beads at his "loyal subjects" These beads now have come to represent health, wealth, and happiness. This is the main part of Mardi Gras for many goers.
In a recent clean up project more than 45 tons of beads were cleaned out from New Orleans storm drains.
Masks were usually worn to escape society and the class system that has hindered almost all countries. Mardi Gras was an evening of escape, and therefore masks were dorned. They were free and given out to anyone who wanted to mingle.
Mardi Gras is a day of fun, celebration, and love. Think Picnics, parades, carnival, and getting to escape your normal life. Sounds great doesn't it?
Mardi Gras and king cakes are always found with each other, because according to the Christian faith, Jesus first showed himself to the three wise men and to the world on January 6th, also known as Twelfth Night or the Epiphany. This is the start of king cake season.
Each king cake has a tiny plastic baby inside.. In the past, you might have found an item such as a coin, bean, pecan or pea in a king cake. The lucky person who receives the slice of cake with the baby has the next king cake party (or brings the next cake for the office). As for me.. I just love the idea of 45 days of cake!
Whatever your reason for celebrating... make it fun. Bring the happiness and excitement for life that the Carnival of Mardi Gras should bring.