Mardi Gras

For those of you out there who don’t know what Mardi Gras is or why it is important, allow me a brief indulgence.

Mardi Gras is a southern holiday (all thought it enjoys many incarnations around the world) that sprang from the Catholic Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent where you give something up for 40 days in order to celebrate Jesus’s victory of sin and death. It is, in short, a chance to indulge in all the vices before you have to give them up and be ashamed. It is particularily popular in the South and especially in New Orlenes, attracting thousands of tourists every year, most of whom flash their tits to aquire beads which come by the dozens for less than $1.

But at the end of the day, this is as close to a pagan festival as one can get short of Samhain which is generally accepted by the public. Like most celebrations it had throughly pagan incarnations which existed before the advent of the church so it really should come as no surprise that it continued till modern day. The more repressed and constrained a society the more the need exists to retreat into our animal nature and exist as baser creatures. And mind you, I say this with no condescending nature at all.

For me, we celebrated this in our schools with King Cakes, masque dances, and parades where we covered ourselves in glitter and masks and gave out beads and chocolate coins.

Most don’t know, but this also carries a special significance for Voudo followers as well, as they don’t separate it from their secular practice. It was a prime time for celebration and spiritual possession by the lwa.

For me, Mardi Gras is important as a part of my southern heritage. I am from southeast Texas, right up next to Louisiana, so there were a lot of things we celebrated that just simply don’t come around up here in the North. Cinco de Mayo, Mardi Gras, First Day of Deer Season (shit we got a week off school for that)! I havn’t seen anyone do those since I got up here and to me, they are still important parts of how I grew up. In their place have come celebrations like Oktoberfest and this bizzar tradition of serving bratwurst and saurkraut new years Day.

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One Response to “Mardi Gras”

  1. I could really go for a King’s Cake right now.

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