Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Cecelia Montgomery
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.
The celebration of the last day before Lent dates back to at least the Middle Ages when men of noble lineage or accomplishment were knighted and formal banquets took place to honor the occasion. Mardi Gras which means Fat Tuesday in French as an alternate name for Shrove Tuesday was established in New Orleans while the city was under French control and was maintained as a major festival even when the territory was relinquished into Spanish hands as well as after the Louisiana Purchase was signed and the state of Louisiana officially joined the Union.
The traditional Mardi Gras King cake is thought to have been derived from this need to use up perishable items. Today Carnival and Mardi Gras are celebrated in many different fashions. Some only celebrate on the actual Tuesday before Ash Wednesday while others take full advantage of the time and attend many luncheons masked balls and parades. Parades are generally the highlight for the majority of those who observe Mardi Gras and though Mobile and New Orleans have the biggest and oldest celebrations many other communities all along the Gulf Coast are forming their own societies.