Happy Fat Tuesday! I am bummed I missed all the parades this year because I have been out of town so much, but I still got in the Carnival spirit just living here, I love it! I thought today would be a fun day to give you all non New Orleans folks a little lesson in all things Mardi Gras (fun face: until I was in middle school, I thought Mardi Gras was a national holiday. I grew up with it and didn’t know any better!) So, here is a lesson in some Mardi Gras lingo. Now, go impress your friends and eat some king cake, but be careful of the baby!
Throws: Trinkets/toys/beads thrown by the Krewe off of the floats. Other popular items are plastic cups, doubloons, moonpies, and stuffed animals. Ever hear the phrase “throw me somethin’ mister?”
Carnival: Carnival season is the time when the locals celebrate Mardi Gras. There are parades on the weekends, special food to buy like king cakes, parties and the like. Every year Carnival season starts on January 6th (my wedding anniversary!) and goes until Fat Tuesday.
Krewe: The krewe are the members of each carnival association. Most have a ball, and a parade (Krewe of Bacchus, Krewe of Endymion, etc.) The “krewe” dresses up and rides on the floats when the parade rolls. Got all that?
Mardi Gras: Fat Tuesday, the actual holiday itself, precedes Ash Wednesday.
King Cake: A cake which is really more like a bread, in a circle with icing and sprinkles on top. Some are plain and some are filled with cream cheese or fruit fillings. There is a baby inside, and whoever gets the baby in their piece has to buy the king cake at the next party.
Ball: A lot of the larger Krewes have a ball during carnival season. They announce a court, and the court is honored during the ball. Everyone dresses up, it’s very fancy and formal. Every year the Krewe chooses a theme, and the ball may be centered around the theme each year as well.
Doubloons: Aluminum coins that are thrown from the floats that have that particular Krewe’s logo on it. These became very popular items, and some are very rare and collectors items.
Captain: The Captain is the leader of the carnival association for that Krewe. The Captain gets his own float at the front of the parade.
Ladders: It can be hard for small children to be seen during the big and crowded parades, so people create ladders with seats in them and wheels so their kids can see and be seen during the parades. You will see these lining the streets during parades.
I hope this was a fun and informative post. Now, who wants to come visit me next Mardi Gras?
QOTD: Have you ever been to a Mardi Gras parade? Want to go to one?