Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Today, New Orleans, Louisiana is in full-on celebratory mode, because it’s Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday)! This holiday is best known for its debaucherous nature, as people line the streets to catch “throws” from passing parade floats. There’s music, there’s dancing, there’s drinking and eating, and many people simply going with the flow. Costumes and masks abound, and things are bound to get… interesting…
Mardis Gras signifies the last day of the carnival season between the Epiphany (or Kings Day) on January 6, and Ash Wednesday, which heralds the beginning of Lent. Since Lent is a time of repentance and fasting, the celebration the night before is meant to “get it all out of your system.” It started in the US as a much calmer French Catholic tradition in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV sent the LeMoyne brothers to defend their claim on the Louisiana territory. As the city of New Orleans grew, so did the tradition, and with the mixing of the cultures in the area, the holiday became closely tied with the city.
The colors of Mardis Gras are purple, green and gold. Purple represents justice; green represents faith; and gold represents power. The traditional cake of the season is a king cake, a braided or ringed cinnamon cake usually iced with the traditional Mardis Gras colors, and often with a small plastic baby hidden somewhere within. The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket inside will usually earn some sort of privilege or prize, or perhaps be obliged to do something (like host the following year’s party).
Mardis Gras is a very festive day, steeped with tradition. My collection touches on some of them, while celebrating the vibrant colors. Remember to visit the shops and “throw” them some love and favorites, and you can visit some of my other Every Day is a Holiday treasuries here!
Click on the image to see the treasury on Etsy, complete with links to the featured shops and items!
“Every Day is a Holiday” is my Etsy Treasury project for 2014. I’m hoping to find unique and beautiful items that exemplify the holiday of the day—the sillier and weirder, the better! What’s better than finding something worth celebrating each and every day?