Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 20, 2019 / Chris Burris
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.
Beginning two weeks before Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day there is at least one parade daily. It is during these parades that the beads or throws are primarily used. The New Orleans parades are organized by Krewes which are member sponsored communities. During the course of the parade the krewe members toss out a number of different types of throws such as beads doubloons cups and stuffed animals or small toys. Make sure you bring a large bag pillow case or any other sturdy container to bring your "catch" home in. Prior to the 1960 s the beads were made from glass; however they are currently being made from plastic.
Around 30 000 visitors flock to Venice each day for the world famous carnival so be sure to book a room in one of the hotels prior to your trip. Be sure to pick up a traditional mask in Venice before you hit the Mardi Gras events. They can be found from a huge selection of street vendors and shops splattered along the side alleys. The carnival always runs with a different theme each year and activities include a silent regatta of row boats along the Canal Grande illuminated only with candles symbolic and suggestive symbol of rejoining with the city; concerts theatre pieces historical re-enactments grand balls and film shows.