February 23rd, 2006

carnival

Pancake Tuesday!

I currently have a calendar featuring pictures from Scotland and noticed that it lists the holidays on 02/28 as Mardi Gras and Shrove Tuesday (UK). When I was a child, I remember a few older people calling the day before Ash Wednesday, Shrove Tuesday. I never knew the origin of that name for the holiday. Now I do.

"In the Christian calendar, Shrove Tuesday is the English name for the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which in turn marks the beginning of Lent. In many solidly Roman Catholic countries in Europe and the Americas, this is the last day of Carnival. In some historically Francophone places it is Mardi Gras, French for "Fat Tuesday"; the most famous celebration under this name is the New Orleans Mardi Gras.

The origin of the name Shrove lies in the archaic English verb "to shrive" which means to absolve people of their sins. It was common in the Middle Ages for "shriveners" (priests) to hear people's confessions at this time, to prepare them for Lent.

In Ireland, Australia, and Canada, Shrove Tuesday is known as "Pancake Tuesday", while in Britain it is popularly known as "Pancake Day."

I think that New Orleans needs to work the pancake angle into our Mardi Gras celebrations. The Krewe of Zulu has its coconuts so why not add pancakes into the mix?
fractal

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Here are a few pictures from the parades I went to on Sunday.


MAX Flag Team MAX Flag Team

Beads Please! Beads Please!

Phoebe's 1st Parade Phoebe's 1st Parade




Picture #1 MAX is the post-Katrina combination of three Catholic high schools: St. Mary's, St. Augustine and Xavier Prep. The three schools joined together after the storm out of necessity. The St. Aug band is known as The Marching 100 and Mardi Gras would not be the same if they are not a part of it. It did my heart good to see them marching on Sunday in spite of it all.

Picture #2 That's my nephew Ryker putting out his hand as a float rolls by hoping to catch something. His parade cry is, "Beads please!" because he can't quite say, "Throw me somethin', mistah!"

Picture #3 I always run into someone I don't expect to see at a parade. And on Sunday, I wound up standing with my family right next to Mia, a good friend from high school. We hadn't seen each other since our college years. She was in town from Seattle visiting her Mom. Mia brought her daughter, Phoebe, to St. Charles Avenue to experience her first Mardi Gras parade.