Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras

It's Mardi Gras! So what does this mean? Translated, it means "Fat Tuesday". Mardi Gras, in Christian Tradition, is a time of celebration, and let's face it, gluttony, before beginning the 40 day lent Period. This time of celebration, and many Carnivals are held all around the world during that time (including Venice - see Venice Carnival post). In North America, the most popular Carnival is New Orleans' Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras Flag

The colours associated with Mardi Gras are Purple for Justice, Gold for Power and Green for Faith. These colours are used every where and in everything, including beads and masks.

During the parades, Krewes (social clubs) on floats throw trinkets to the masses, including those strands of beads (nowadays plastic, but once upon a time glass) which come in the afore mentioned colours.

A Mardi Gras float in the shape of a Mask

On Mardi Gras, the laws preventing people from wearing masks in public are lifted for the day, so revellers can keep their anonymity while flashing their breasts for beads. You read that right!

Of course, banks are closed for the day, for obvious reasons (thank goodness for ATMs).

Costumes are also worn by participants. They can be absolutely anything, from bare minimum to elaborate, from a wig and a feather boa to a mini float! So let's take a quick look at some of them.

NOTE: All following pictures come from Mardi Gras New Orleans.com.

Snail Man

Check out that costume! Can you think of anything else to say but WOW! It's a mini-float!

Snail Man - Close-up

And then there is the headdress, and the sequined, picked-up robe, and just WOW! Not I wish I knew if he made it himself or if it was made by some professional for the parade (if you know the answer, please comment).

Sun Queen

Another beautifully detailed costume, although I wish I could see more of it.

Clown on a pole

A clown sporting the official colours: very well done.

Strange Bird

More official colours, beads and feathers.

Turquoise Fairy

In a sea of purple, gold and green, it is restful for my eyes to look at some blue. Notice the lack of covering on this young lady: New Orleans is much warmer in February than Venice!

A pirate and his ship

I think this pirate's ship is made of upholstery foam. I don't think it'll float, but it will sure turn heads!

A pair of lobsters

Anything goes at Mardi Gras, as these two prove.

Guess what? I wanna go!

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