Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Hester Higgins
Refreshments will need to be more amazing than usual and the dances will need to be courtlier than ever before. Everything will take on a fancier appearance when masks with feathers and sequins appear at a party. Laughter is an automatic response to the sight of masks made with the look of antique feathers and sequins in a costume s design. It is nearly impossible not to smile at this soft finery. Every Hogmanay or New Years Eve in a small Perthshire village in Scotland the tradition of a parade being lead by flambeaux carriers lives on. The celebrations commence with the sounds of the pipe band (bagpipes and drums) and shortly before midnight the main road running from one end of the village to the other is closed off to traffic.
It is the twelfth day of Christmas the Epiphany and celebrates the day that the three wise men found and worshipped the baby Jesus. In communities where Carnival is observed Epiphany marks the beginning of the season and the last day is always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday Mardi Gras day. The word Carnival is taken from the Latin and is literally translated as "farewell to the flesh". The Carnival season is time of merriment and brief season of feasting before the somber time of Lent. Some experiments have reasoned that the custom actually began as a way to use any meat eggs and milk before Lent began so that no items were left to waste during the forty day long fasting period.
Characterized by costumes bright decorations and general merriment often induced by the consumption of alcohol the celebration came close to being banned several times during the 19th century but the formation of a social organization (krewe) by six men and the resulting Carnival Parade on the evening of Mardi Gras in 1857 rejuvenated and restructured the mayhem. Though the festivities were halted for the duration of the Civil War they resumed in full force upon its conclusion. New krewes have been formed continuously since the first parade and are added as space allows annually.