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!”
Neat post, Deb. And I love your header, too. I learned how to say Let the good times roll in French, when I visited NO pre-Katrina. Then my husband and I got pickpocketed so we were a little less jubilant after that. But still have very fond memories.
Ah, yes, the joys of the Dark Side of NOLA! As you found out, there’s that, too. Unfortunately! I’m glad your memories offset the bad — it’s not near as risque’ along the Mississippi and Alabama coastline cities, just in case you’re looking for another get-away!
Hey Pal … am very impressed with all your information … didn’t know about the football colors. Living where I do, am too familiar with MG. Loved this! Did I tell you I like your new look?
Hi Iz! Thanks for the compliments — I’m still not quite content with the colors on this thing, but I haven’t figured out yet how to make it do what I want. Grrr!
Wow,Debbie. What a great post! Thank you for bringing me right into your Mardi Gras experience. And I still remember your post from last year. Your details are exquisite~Party On!
Thanks, Kathy. Ours is probably the only house in town to be all decorated for Mardi Gras — beads, garland, lights, even an elaborate purple, green, and gold tree! It’s refreshing at this time of year to have something so uplifting to look forward to — kind of extends the jovial Christmas spirit.
This is all news to me, Debbie. And I didn’t realise that Mardi Gras was the same as Shrove Tuesday (blush). Our neighbours have invited us to share pancakes with them on Shrove Tuesday, apparently that’s a tradition here. (Not sure if it’s a British or a church tradition.)