It’s less than three weeks away now!
Of course, I’m referring to Mardi Gras (AKA Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday).
Last year, I blogged about King Cakes, one of the many traditions surrounding this day of feasting and celebration before the somber 40-day period called Lent. Today, I’m going to talk about the colors of Mardi Gras.
Now you might consider it odd that a person living in Central Illinois, U.S.A., would be so enthralled with a season far removed by distance, but I lived many years along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where Mardi Gras is celebrated, Big Time!
Right after Jan. 6 (Feast of the Epiphany), Carnival Season gets underway. Kings, Queens, and Parade Marshals are announced, individual krewe themes are revealed, and the partying begins.
There are parades featuring decorated floats, live bands, and plenty of beads and doubloons for everybody; there are formal balls (I’m talking tux and ball gown formal!) for invited members and guests; there are more traditions than you can shake a stick at.
Even the colors of Mardi Gras are traditional. Back in 1872, Carnival King Rex selected Purple (symbolizing justice), Green (faith), and Gold (power) as colors for the festivities, and they stuck.
Oddly enough, it was the colors of Mardi Gras that influenced the selection of colors for two of Louisiana’s then-rival universities. According to the SEC Sports Fan Website, the folks from Louisiana State University originally had blue and white as their school colors, but, hoping to celebrate their first football game against Tulane University, they wanted a change.
Some of the guys and their coach went into New Orleans to find colored ribbon to brighten up their gray jerseys. It being just a few months before Mardi Gras season, all they could find were purple and gold cloths (the green had yet to be delivered).
LSU picked up the purple and gold to make rosettes and badges, leaving Tulane to purchase the green when it finally arrived. This they combined with blue to arrive at their school colors.
Curious about my headline? It’s a Cajun expression meaning, “Let the good times roll!”