Feb 20, 2007

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

Fat Tuesday is today, the day before Ash Wednesday and the dark of Lent. How will you celebrate?

Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday," has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event. But its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the "last hurrah" before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. That's why the enormous party in New Orleans, for example, ends abruptly at midnight on Tuesday, with battalions of streetsweepers pushing the crowds out of the French Quarter towards home.

The official colors of Mardi Gras, with their roots in Catholicism, are: purple, a symbol of justice; green, representing faith; and gold, to signify power.

At our personal Shrove Tuesday event we'll be having Pain Perdu (French Toast), breakfast sausage, real maple syrup, pineapple OJ, eggs and cantaloupe. Plus dessert. I have lots of ice cream in the freezer that MUST. GO.

Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French. The name comes from the tradition of slaughtering and feasting upon a fattened calf on the last day of Carnival. The day is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from "to shrive," or hear confessions), Pancake Tuesday and fetter Dienstag. The custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins.

But we'll also be talking about what Lent is, what it's for, and why it's important and not the dreary time that everyone I think it is. (I always picture Lent like dark rainy days with drapes drawn in a moldery old house, sadness and deep, painful thought.) We'll talk about sacrifice, penitance, and the love of God for all his people. We'll eat sugar until our eyes pop and then dance like the madwomen we are.

Man, it's a good thing I went to Curves last night!!

So, Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler!! Which is, of course, Cajun for "Let the Good Times Roll!"

The information in italics came from the American Catholic website unless it's my own personal commentary.

1 comment:

Aimee said...

We used to live near New Orleans and our neighbors used to decorate their house with green, gold, and purple decorations, lights and masks (think Christmas decorations, only more gaudy) We got into it, and we bought King Cakes and the like.
Up here in PA, we have Fastnacht Day, which is the German version of the same thing - only celebrated with ginormous doughnuts. That's my kind of day!

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