Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Helena Ball
Masks made from pale pastel plumage with shiny sequins are standard fare at Mardi gras Carnival and masquerade parties. There s an allure and style to them possessed by no other costume element. Much is made of our desire to pretend and the imagination s ability to do so. Few activities give us the opportunity as readily as does the costume party. Frills and flourishes that have no other place are found in abundance at parades of show costume-clad dancers wearing yards of sequined fishnet and feathered elegance. None of it would have the same mystery without the elegance of the mask. These beautiful adornments have a history of their own that heralds back to court functions in pre-Revolutionary France. There s the hint of a palace in every feathery sequined one of them.
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.
He served as recording producer for the popular Holiday Angels Working Undercover Christmas charity CD project from 2003-2007. As settlers from Europe travelled to the new world by the thousands traditions and customs came with them and became ingrained in the culture and history of a new country. One custom in particular flourished in the southern reaches of the burgeoning country Mardi Gras. As far back as the early 18th century Catholic European settlers were celebrating the same holidays that they had observed in their native countries. In 1699 a French explorer arrived at the Mississippi River not far from where present day New Orleans exists.