Tuesday, January 6, 2009
We no sooner get through Christmas and New Years and now it's Mardi Gras season. Tonight is "Twelfth Night," as in the twelfth night after Christmas, and it's the kickoff to Mardi Gras. Having spent my entire-until-recently life in the north, to me, Mardi Gras was always something they did in New Orleans the night before Lent starts. Oh, and they had a parade. That's all I knew of Mardi Gras. But who knew? It's a major big deal down here. Lousiana is the only state in the Union where Mardi Gras is an official state holiday; no school, no banks or mail, etc. This year Mardi Gras is February 24. (Last year it was on my birthday, Feb. 5, which was kinda fun) But the celebration runs non-stop between now and then. Parties, parades of every kind, beads, masks, houses bedecked as if it was still Christmas except the decorations are purple, gold and green instead of red and green. The newspaper abounds with photos of Krewe kings, queens, and courts, all dressed in their finest bedazzled costumes. Overpriced king cakes line bakery shelves. Country towns host chicken runs and gumbo cookoffs. And more parades. Laissez les bon temps rouler!