Would you like me to elaborate? Well, I’m going to anyway.
In French, Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” has its roots in the ancient Greek spring festival in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine. It was originally called Carnival, or in the original Latin, Carne Vale or “Farewell to the Flesh”.
The Romans adopted the celebration with feasts in honor of Bacchus, their equivalent to Dionysus, and Saturnalia, where slaves and their masters exchanged clothes in a day of drunken revelry.
Saturnalia was later modified by the Roman Catholic Church into a festival leading up to Ash Wednesday, the day right after Fat Tuesday. So, why do they call it fat? Because the celebrations quickly grew into over indulging in every vice and pleasure, sort of a “final blowout” if you will, before the first day of Lent, the 40-day period of the purging of sins, reflections and abstinence from every vice and pleasure leading up to Easter.
“Carnival” came to the Gulf Coast via a French explorer and settler, and of course took root and grew to what it is today–Mardi Gras, complete with a week of parades and balls leading up to the main day, at which time the mayor of New Orleans turns the keys to the city over to the King of Carnival, King Rex, for the day and lawlessness reigns.
Away from the big city and closer to home, there are more rural celebrations, which are more family oriented and vary from town to town. To see what my nearby town does, visit the local paper for photos or read about an old Cajun tradition down in Mamou.
The Mardi Gras parades are attended by folks of all races, religions and creeds, but the only folks you’ll see walking around with ashes on their foreheads Wednesday and giving up meat (or alcohol, or chocolate, or sex) for the next 40 days will be members of the Catholic faith.
Everything shuts down on this day. Nobody works. So I’m not physically working either, simply because it’s a day for me to catch up on bill paying and trying to clear my desk. School is out until Thursday and some are out all week. My boys are still at Disney and having a BLAST!
Yesterday, which was Lundi Gras, Larry became my new hero! He broke up that pile of leftover concrete from the first pouring . . .
and dumped it across the road in the neighbor’s bulkhead.
And I am so happy because the front yard is one step closer to getting back to normal. And to make things even better, while I was shoveling dirt back around the sewage treatment plant, he told me to put that shovel down and that when all the concrete work was done, he would “dress all that up” for me.
So, for today, I’ll give them their day off to make merry, and I look forward to seeing them back on the job first thing in the morning.
Until next time,