A Beginner's Guide to Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras... Fat Tuesday... Carnival... If you aren't from Louisiana, these terms might not be familiar to you. Growing up here on the bayou, this holiday is practically as big as Christmas. If you aren't from the South, I can understand how this might seem like a goofy holiday, but it's a season full of traditions, sparkles, and fun.

So let me try to break it down...

The season kicks off with 12th Night, which falls twelve days after Christmas (shocking, right?). The Epiphany is the day when the Wise Men made it to baby Jesus, and was always a big celebration with so many Catholics in the region. From the Epiphany until Ash Wednesday, everyone celebrates and feasts (since Lent is supposed to be a time of fasting). 

There are lots of parties leading up to the big day, and parades fill almost every weekend up until the big day, so that's why I say Mardi Gras is a season.

My dad and I share the same opinion on parades ("throw me something, mister" or "so done" ?). 

There are parades all over the state, in big towns like Baton Rouge and New Orleans and small towns like Thibodaux and Labadieville. Being a quiet shy child, parades were never my favorite (what part of waving and yelling and occasionally getting smacked in the face with beads is fun?), but now that I'm older, I can understand how the drive-thru daquari shops and open container drinking laws might have some appeal. 

But before the parades, there's the most sparkly part: the Mardi Gras balls! Almost all the krewes will pick a royal court and keep them secret until they are presented at the ball! 

My little was the queen of a krewe in Slidell last year! I'm so excited to see her crown the new queen at this year's ball. 

I was almost a maid senior year for the Krewe of Christopher here in Thibodaux, but decided that all that money (thousands of dollars, yikes!), would be better spent on something else. Do I regret turning them down? Not very much anymore. 

This is my roommate when she was a maid for Terreanians. Maids get to wear beautiful sparkly dresses and insane headpieces. 

My favorite part of the season? Hands down, the king cake. Second favorite part? The three days off of school! 

I'm already looking forward to the break and we still have a week left of our winter break! 

Mardi Gras is definitely a celebration in this town. Will you be celebrating this year? 

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