Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Lauri Cooke
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.
The carriers here were traditionally slaves and some of them today may well be their descendants. It s a great way to start a Carnival off. If you are fortunate to enjoy the festivities why not dress up and be a part of it all? There are many Mardi Gras costumes for you to buy on line if you want to enter into the spirit of it all. Mardi Gras Beads or throws are a fun part of the Carnival festivities in New Orleans Louisiana. The Carnival season begins on Twelfth Night or January 6th. Carnival refers to the whole season from January 6 through Fat Tuesday which is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday or the beginning of the Lent season. Mardi Gras generally refers to Fat Tuesday only but many tourists describe the whole carnival season as Mardi Gras so locals began to refer to Fat Tuesday as Mardi Gras Day to alleviate any confusion. Festivities during the Carnival Season include parties or balls parades and king cake.
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.