South Louisiana Celebrates Mardi Gras! Why You Ask?
South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast celebrate the annual bead throwing, family gathering and good times festival every year known as Mardi Gras! Most schools and business even close Mardi Gras day. For some that can seem a little weird… “You get off of work to party?” a good friend once asked. “We sort of…” would be the common response.
But why do we celebrate Mardi Gras in such a grand way? Well we consulted with the Mardi Gras Guide from 2005 for some answers. Here is what we found!
1. Is Mardi Gras Really Connected to Religion?- Yes. The Catholic Church licensed Carnival, which means “farewell to flesh,” as a period of feasting before the fasting of Lent. The Church also established the set date for the start of Carnival season – the Feast of the Epiphany – and the fluctuating date of Mardi Gras.
2. Why does the date of Mardi Gras change?- Because it’s connected to the moveable date of Easter whiuch can fall on any Sunday from March 23 to April 25. Mardi Gras is scheduled 47 days preceding Easter and can occur on any Tuesday from February 3 through March 9!
3. Is Spanish Town the best parade in the country?- Well here’s an excerpt from Dr. Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon is a folklorist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who lives in Spanish Town post “It’s A Very Pink Day in My Neighborhood”
“Back in 1981, when the neighborhood was thought to be “questionable,” the residents decided to “celebrate their difference” by starting their own Mardi Gras parade. The first parade rolled—or walked—along Spanish Town Road. Long-time residents say that the first parade was very small. In fact, they say that fewer than ten people lined the streets. Children were the marchers, and they banged on fruit cartons and threw a few beads. Then, the spectators would run to the next corner and throw the beads back to the marchers, so that the parade could continue. Today, many years later, the parade has grown to be so large that it almost seems too big!”
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