Friday, February 19, 2010

Mardi Gras

Everyone has their own idea of what Mardi Gras in New Orleans in all about. I used to be under the impression that is was a celebration of drunkenness and promiscuity. I avoided all things Mardi Gras when I was a young adult. Accept for eating a big ole meal on Fat Tuesday knowing that the Lenten sacrifices would begin the next morning. I visited New Orleans one summer and saw only the Bourbon Street type of activity. That just solidified my idea. I judged all things Mardi Gras from that point forward. Then I moved to Houston and began to meet more and more people that referred to Mardi Gras activities as being very family friendly. I now had very traditional Catholic friends that spoke of Mardi Gras with love in their hearts and not disgust for the drunkenness. This was hard for me to digest.
I was confused how these very loving families, very Christian men and woman would ever be apart of screaming for beads. I thought it only had to do with the seedy side of life. I learned that I could not be farther from the truth. Mardi Gras is a celebration of people. There can be a seedy element but only if you want it to be there.
Jason got to go to Mardi Gras again this year as a business activity. We asked Jason's mom and dad to join us for this event. They flew down and I suspect they were a little surprised as well at how family friendly a parade actually is. We learned to just stay away from Bourbon Street. New Orleans outside of that area is really a beautiful place. It is full of life, history, traditions, pride, and joy that I have not seen in other places.
So much I still don't understand. Asking my friends has helped. Yet somethings they just do and they don't know why. I turned to my favorite teacher and have learned so much. A children's story book about any given topic will always do a great job of explaining the what and the why often using pictures and the wording is always simple enough for even me to understand. If you think that Mardi Gras is nothing for the family then I would encourage you to read these books: Mimi's First Mardi Gras and Jenny Giraffe's Mardi Gras Ride (Jenny Giraffe Series) .

I promise that these books will help with understanding all that you see.

I think that Nanny and Gramps had a fun time. It is amazing how silly and yet how much fun it is to scream up and beg for beads. It gives you a feeling of childhood all over again. It also becomes so addicting. These beads are cheap. The people standing the corners are not poor. Yet we stand for hours yelling up asking for a trinket. One of my favorite things to see are the trees all colorful with the beads all over them. Again J and I had so much fun. Don't be surprised if you head to a Mardi Gras parade next year in New Orleans and you catch me standing there screaming for another strand of beads. I can't explain it but I know you will enjoy it if you just give it a try.

Now if you understand why people wear costumes and masks on Fat
Tuesday to attend a parade I would love to hear it. We even watched a
woman at the air port eat an entire meal with her mask on. She wasn't
taking if off for anything. I don't understand why?

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