Mardi Gras celebrations

MARDI GRAS IS AN ANNUAL CARNIVAL CELEBRATION – AND IS TRADITIONALLY THE LAST DAY FOR CHRISTIANS TO INDULGE BEFORE LENT, A PERIOD OF FASTING AND OF GIVING UP LUXURIES.

MARDI GRAS IS FRENCH FOR FAT TUESDAY – ACTUALLY TUESDAY FAT IF YOU’RE LITERAL…. AND, AS THE NAME IMPLIES, REVELERS CELEBRATE WITH RICH, FATTY FOODS. TRADITIONAL FAT TUESDAY FOODS VARY: IN THE UK, FAT TUESDAY IS PANCAKE DAY, BUT, IN POLAND, IT’S PACZKI (PUUNCH-KI) DAY – PACZKIS ARE FILLED, DEEP-FRIED DOUGH BALLS, COVERED WITH POWDERED SUGAR. THE POLES CARRIED THIS DELICIOUS TRADITION HERE TO CLEVELAND WHEN THEY IMMIGRATED, AND THIS SWEET FRIED TREAT HAS SINCE BECOME OUR TRADITION!

OF COURSE, THE MOST WELL-KNOWN TRADITIONS TAKE PLACE IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, WHERE TWO WEEKS OF PARADES, PARTIES AND CELEBRATIONS HAVE LED UP TO MARDI GRAS.

UP NEXT, WE HEAD TO THE BIG EASY – N’AWLIN’S NICKNAME - AND CHECK OUT THE ANNUAL PARTY THAT’S BEEN RAGING SINCE 1699.  

MARDI GRAS CELEBRATIONS START EARLY IN NEW ORLEANS.
AT LEAST ONE PARADE BEGAN PROCESSING BEFORE EIGHT A-M LOCAL TIME.
MOS: "IT'S A LITTLE EARLY.  IT'S A LITTLE EARLY."
NEW ORLEANIANS WERE STAKING OUT PRIME SPOTS BEFORE THE SUN CAME UP.
BUT THE BIG EASY TAKES MARDI GRAS -- LITERALLY "FAT TUESDAY" -- SERIOUSLY ... AND PREPARES ALL YEAR FOR THIS DAY.
MOS: VERY EXCITED FOR MARDI GRAS, WE LOVE IT
(NATS)
LONG BEFORE THE FIRST BEADS WERE TOSSED... PEOPLE LIKE RENEE MAXWELL WERE BUSY PLANNING. 
HER MASSIVE "ORPHEUS" KREWE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST ELABORATE.
27 FLOATS, 30 MARCHING BANDS, 1400 PARADE RIDERS -- ALL FOR A SINGLE PARADE... WITH NOT A SINGLE CORPORATE SPONSOR.     
RENEE MAXWELL/KREWE LEADER, ORPHEUS: "EVERYTHING YOU SEE HERE, THE FLOATS, THE BANDS, EVERYTHING - THROWS - COME OUT OF THE RIDERS POCKETS."
(NATS)
NEW ORLEANS KNOWS HOW TO THROW A MARDI GRAS PARTY -- AND THEY SHOULD.
THE FIRST PARADE IN THE CITY TOOK PLACE BACK IN 1837.
THESE DAYS, MARDI GRAS IS A LEGAL HOLIDAY IN PARTS OF LOUISIANA.
NEARLY ONE-AND-A-HALF MILLION PEOPLE TYPICALLY SHOW UP IN NEW ORLEANS...
TO DRINK...
(NATS)
DANCE...
(NATS)
AND LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL.


Instructional Links

 

Website Article: Holidays on the Net, The History of Mardi Gras

Video: PBS LearningMedia, All about the Holidays, Mardi Gras | Includes lesson plan, resources and ebook

Website Article: New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mardi Gras –Fun Facts

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