It's Mardi Gras time! Actually, the season began on the 12th day of Christmas (January 6th), but it's been building to Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras dates back to medieval times in Europe, when they feasted before the Lenten season of fasting began. Cake would often be served in celebration of Jesus' birthday on the 12th day of Christmas, hence the "King" cake. Time to get out the carbs, people! Tomorrow is the day to eat it all before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
The first Mardi Gras celebration was actually in Mobile, Alabama. It was called Fort Louis de la Mobile back then. A procession was held with a huge bull's head pushed on wheels, and years later an actual bull joined King Rex in a parade. That seems a little dangerous to me, but I wasn't there, so I won't judge. Personally, I prefer parading bulls in art form only, sculpted out of foam and painted brightly on a float. Leave the live ones in the pasture please.
New Orleans currently gets over 1 million visitors during carnival season. That's a lot of revelry. Hub has attended plenty of the NOLA festivities in the past, I've only been to Mobile's celebration. They both have their pros and cons, and the NOLA trip is on my bucket list. He thoroughly enjoyed the Mobile Mardi Gras, mainly because it wasn't as crowded. As we age, certain things aren't as appealing as they once were, but I still want to experience the New Orleans Carnival at least once.
We honeymooned in New Orleans a few years back. It was in October, the weather was perfect, the crowds were small, and we ate our way through that town. One of our stops was Mardi Gras World, the huge warehouse where parade floats are made and stored. It was fascinating! The work that went into the building of the floats blew me away. These bad boys aren't whipped up in a week, they start a year in advance. The artists that bring each Krewe's theme to life are geniuses. During the tour, they served us King Cake and hub got the baby in his slice. He bought the cake the following year, as tradition requires.
We celebrate on a much smaller scale at home. There are a few decorations and a King Cake, but not much more. There is no legal holiday, like in Louisiana, and life pretty much goes on without much fanfare. One day though, I'll travel to NOLA and experience Carnival. Laissez les bons temps rouler! That is until 10pm, because this old gal's bedtime is a lot earlier than it used to be.
How do you celebrate Mardi Gras? Post your pics below! Here are a few pics of our tour, and some decorations. The turtle float is my favorite! I love the beads in the trees in NOLA. I threw a few in our trees this year, but it's not quite the same. 20 strands just don't make much of an impact.
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