Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2009

Celebrating Mardi Gras

February 12, 2009

Last Friday night Ada and I went to the Mardi Gras at the Heritage Center in Leavenworth and had a really good time.

At first they paraded in with a big cake called the “King Cake.” A tiny porcelain baby is baked in the cake and whoever is lucky enough to get the right piece of cake has good luck the rest of the year. This tradition represents the 12th night visit by the three kings to the baby Jesus

They had live musicians that played a special Mardi Gras theme song. They selected a king and a queen and in 1805 the king wore a lard can as a crown. Luckily that did not happen this night as I was selected king and was proud to wear a special red and gold crown all evening. The queen was Helen Edmonds, a very lovely lady. The queen and I had a special dance where we started and others followed suit. Later we got to start a train parade circling through the tables picking up passengers as we went by.

The Mardi Gras, which means Fat Tuesday, is a traditional celebration in the Southern States, the most noteworthy being New Orleans. It always falls between Feb. 3 and March 9, depending on the Lunar Calendar used by the Catholic Church to determine the date of Easter. Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter. The official colors are purple, green and gold. These colors were chosen in 1872 by the King of the Carnival, Rex. Purple represents justice, green stands for faith and gold stands for power.

On the 21st we will have our seventh annual Mardi Gras at St. Francis Church to do some celebrating before Lent starts on the 25th. Every year our theme changes a bit, and this year for our theme we will have German costumes, German food and live music.

The Mardi Gras tradition started in 1870 in New Orleans. This year the official date is Feb. 24. Most of us will be watching the festivities in New Orleans on TV but I am sure it would be a fun thing to attend.


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