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March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras or Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Happy Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday! The reason today is called Fat Tuesday is because it’s the last night of eating rich, fatty foods. Today in many cities across the world people are celebrating, dancing, drinking, wearing masks, costumes and many throwing their inhibitions out the window at least until midnight. At midnight, it all comes to an end, and the Lenten season of prayer and fasting begins.

This day is celebrated in many countries, including, Belgium, Brazi, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and the United States. So why doesn’t every city in America celebrate Mardi Gras? The tradition is a French Catholic tradition and was brought to the United States in the late 17th century by Pierre Le Moyne de’Iberville. There is even a point called Point du Mardi Gras where on March 3, 1699 they landed and claimed the land for the French. Of course that point is closer to Mobile Alabama than New Orleans. Later the capital was moved to New Orleans.

In Belgium, at the Carnival of Binche, around 1,000 Gilles dance from morning until past dusk. In Brazil, Carnival is not only their hottest tourism time, but the day is observed across the country. There are massive parades and in Rio de Janeiro, over two million people will be celebrating today. In Germany, it’s called Karneval, Fastnacht or Fasching. That translates to “Eve of the Fast.” Italy calls Mardi Gras Martedi Grasso and they also celebrate Fat Thursday, Giovedi Grasso, the week before. The Netherlands call Mardi Gras, Carnaval and is mainly held in southern Netherland. In Sweden, it’s called Fastan and you eat Fastlagsbullel. Literally you are eating Fat.

While researching this article, there was an exchange I found from a person who lived in New Orleans and said that the news has made the event seem so sordid with women showing their breasts. He admitted that goes on down on Bourbon Street, but said there are a lot of the parades that you can take your children to. He says that’s only a tenth of the actual celebration and that it’s an enjoyable celebration for families and friends.

I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but the crowds and the drinking have kept me at home. Maybe someday. If you celebrate Mardi Gras, have a wonderful time, be careful, and I hope you receive a lot of beads without having to show your breasts. Tomorrow I’ll see you in church.
The first person to leave a comment and tell me what “Laissez les bons temps rouler” means wins a free book. Contest ends at midnight.
Check our Wronged, a Historical Romance set in New Orleans by Sylvia. Currently, it's free.

Information and pictures from Wikipedia.


Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Let the good times roll!

I'm going to a Mardi Gras lunch. Every year, several friends gather at our favorite Mexican restaurant, eat, have chocolate and say our favorite swear word in honor of our friend. It is great to get together and remember her and cherish each other.

Sylvia said...

Vicki, I think that's a wonderful tribute and it keeps her memory alive. Very special.

Angela Adams said...

My grandmother would say, "during lent, there's no cake, candy, or ice cream in my house." Being only four or five-years-old, I thought Lent meant everyone had to go on a diet.

Bantering of a Beautiful Mind said...

Let the good times roll.

Our local Mexican Restaurant has a big celebration for Mardi Gras. I have only went once. Little man is usually with me and he doesn't go for the loudness!

Phyllis said...

How informative Sylvia! I've never been interested in going there during Mardi Gras. More room for someone else!

Debbie Lou McCreary said...

Very interesting story on Mardi Gras. I would like to go once in my life. I always thought it looked colorful. I don't have any idea what Laissez les bons temps rouler means. Bet it sounds sexy if a man says it to you! ha ha

chris keniston said...

I actually spent a few days during carnival in Nice France- that was fun. The whole city is decorated with lights and caricatures, huge costumes - especially with big heads- music piped through the streets- and I learned the french call cotton candy 'Dad's beard' lol

Always wanted to participate in carnival in south america- Barranquilla COlombia has phenomenal carnivals with so many dances and parties the city doesn't really sleep for weeks.

I suppose food fits in somewhere- lol.

Sylvia said...

Angela, I had no idea about Lent until I was in my twenties. Duh! But my husband's family is catholic and I soon learned the meaning of Lent. Thanks for coming by today.

Sylvia said...

Kimberly Hill, you are so right! Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler means Let the Good Times Roll. I thought someone would know that right away. Congratulations! I think you own all of my books, but if there is one you want, then let me know and it's yours.

Sylvia said...

I'm not one for loud parties or wild crowds. In fact crowds in general scare me. But I always thought it would be fun to be up on a balcony where you could see the floats go by. At this stage in life, I think I'll just watch it on TV.

Sylvia said...

You are too funny, but I bet it would sound sex if a deep voiced man said that to you. Do you remember in the Adams family when Francesica would speak French and he would go crazy. There are so many things about that show that I loved. Sorry, your comment reminded me.

Sylvia said...

I bet that was fun seeing Mardi Gras celebrated in another country. I'm surprised you haven't seen the festival in Columbia. Keep it on the bucket list. Thanks for stopping by today.

Unknown said...

Well, by now it's Ash Wednesday and lent has started, but I still have a big bag of candy left from my last big push in the writing cave to get a MS finished. Do I put it away until after lent, or do I gorge today, and atone tomorrow? (Writer's problems!)

Wishing a happy Mardi Gras (post due) to all, and a wonderful, fulfilling time of reflection in lent.

Cheers, EE

Linda Steinberg said...

I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans for the first (and probably last) time in 2008. It was where my man and I first got together after emailing for almost a year. Really enjoyed it but not sure I'd want to go again.

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