Mardi Gras Beads (image: stephj526)
by: Grayson Leverenz
Known as “the feast before the fast,” Mardi Gras is the pinnacle of New Orleans Carnival in the US. Most Americans refer to the entire celebration as Mardi Gras even though the literal translation from French, “Fat Tuesday,” points to the final night of partying (i.e. the Tuesday before the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday).
Mardi Gras 2009 enters full swing this weekend with parades, parties and debauchery galore, and Fat Tuesday falls on February 24th. If New Orleans is an attainable travel destination for you, click here to get all the information you need to join the party. If you’re near New York, click here for a great write up I found on celebrating in Manhattan. If you can’t get to either one of those places, here are some ideas for throwing your own Mardi Gras theme night:
Greet: Your guests with beads. Tradition has it that as the Mardi Gras parades pass by, the people on the floats toss beads and other trinkets to watchers. Accumulating beads is a lot of fun, and a badge of honor for college students to show they attended the festivities.
Drink: Hurricanes, the fruity rum drink made famous by Pat O’Brien in 1939. Click here for a recipe.
Listen: To New Orleans jazz or zydeco, awesome American music evolved from Louisiana Creole music. Here’s a link to a band that plays zydeco called Hypnotic Clambake. My husband, Brandon, toured with them back in the 1990’s, and I love their sound! Scroll down when you click to their site to hear some tunes for free.
Indulge: In sweet cinnamon King Cake. Click here for more, including a recipe.