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Shrove Tuesday

Mardi Gras

The last day before the beginning of Lent on the Gulf Coast that once belonged to France, it is Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday”: Laissez les bon temps rouler!

It was first celebrated in Mobile, Alabama, but the big show these days is in New Orleans, and it is a holiday in the state of Louisiana, because people wouldn’t show up for work anyway, so why fight it.

The tradition is to serve King cake, which is a circle of cinnamon bun dough with a white frosting on top sprinkled with sugar colored purple, gold, and green. If that weren’t bad enough, they put the figurine of a baby in the dough, and whoever finds it in their piece is supposed to be lucky. Actually if you find it and don’t choke on it, I guess you are lucky. You should use a small ceramic figurine, as some of the cheap plastic versions melt in the oven [yummy].

In Britain, Ireland, and many of the Commonwealth countries Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as Pancake Day.

This year, no parades, no booze, no beads – Quel dommage! There are Mardi Gras houses to soothe the pain.

6 comments

1 Badtux { 02.19.21 at 10:10 pm }

It was celebrated with ice in Texas this year 😉

2 Bryan { 02.19.21 at 10:33 pm }

Nothing wrong with ice… as long as it’s in a glass with some alcohol involved. When it’s coating the road with snow on top, that’s a cold, wet time for traffic cops. [Been there, done that]

3 hipparchia { 02.25.21 at 8:18 pm }

thank you for the mardi gras houses. i had heard that people were doing that but hadn’t seen them.

4 Bryan { 02.25.21 at 10:09 pm }

A lot of time, money, and creativity involved in those houses. Local people really miss the parades. Working with your Krewe to build a float is like a local sports team – it’s more about the community than winning or losing.

5 hipparchia { 02.26.21 at 7:13 pm }

yep, i’ve got friends both here and in mobile whose mardi gras krewes are something akin to their second families, and thinking about, designing, planning, looking for new stuff for, and bringing it all together to turn out their floats is a year-round project and passion.

those houses in the photos amazing. or rather, the fact that people adapted and put that much of themselves into their “house floats” is heart-warming.

6 Bryan { 02.27.21 at 6:57 pm }

A benefit that isn’t obvious, they offered business to the small companies that support the parade in the construction of the floats. There are painters and carpenters who depend on Mardi Gras for a major part of their business. Covid has shut down a lot of work in remodeling, so the lack of the Mardi Gras business would but the little guys on the edge of shutting down.