Mardi Gras 2017 – 9 Things You May Not Know About Mardi Gras

1. Mardi Gras and Carnival are the same celebration.
Though Mardi Gras technically refers only to Fat Tuesday, the Mardi Gras season actually begins on Epiphany, a Christian holiday celebrated on January 6 that is otherwise known as Three Kings Day or the Twelfth Day of Christmas. In Brazil and many other countries, this period between Epiphany and Fat Tuesday is known as Carnival. Whichever name you prefer to use, the revelries of Mardi Gras last until midnight tonight, when Ash Wednesday ushers in 40 days of Lent.

2. Mardi Gras may or may not have pagan roots.
A popular theory holds that Mardi Gras’ origins lie in ancient pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, such as Saturnalia and Lupercalia. Some experts contend, however, that Mardi Gras-type festivities popped up solely as a result of the Catholic Church’s discouragement of sex and meat during Lent. Church reformers may have helped to propagate the pagan rumors, these experts say, in the hope of dissuading pre-Lenten hedonism.

3. New Orleans did not host the first North American Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras is believed to have arrived in North America on March 3, 1699, when the French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville camped about 60 miles downriver from the future site of New Orleans. Knowing it was Fat Tuesday back in France, Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras and held a small gala. A few years later, French soldiers and settlers feasted and wore masks as part of Mardi Gras festivities in the newly founded city of Mobile (present-day Alabama). To this day, Mobile claims to have the oldest annual Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.

4. Mardi Gras in New Orleans survived early efforts at suppression.
Mardi Gras got going in New Orleans soon after the city’s founding in 1718. The Spanish, who ruled the Big Easy from 1762 to 1800, apparently cracked down on certain Mardi Gras rituals (though documentation from that period is scarce). U.S. authorities did much the same after taking control in 1803, banning both masked balls and public disguises. Nonetheless, they eventually accepted the festival’s existence. The first recorded Mardi Gras street parade in New Orleans took place in 1837, by which time the city had transformed from a small backwater into a major metropolis. Twenty years later, six men organized a secret society called the Mistick Krewe of Comus. By holding a parade with the theme of “The Demon Actors in Milton’s Paradise Lost,” along with a lavish grand ball, Comus reversed the declining popularity of Mardi Gras and helped establish New Orleans as its clear epicenter in the United States. This year, more than 1 million visitors are expected to attend.

5. Other secret societies quickly followed Comus’ lead.
In 1872 the Krewe of Rex and the Knights of Momus began paying for parades and balls of their own. They were followed a decade later by the Krewe of Proteus. Since these early societies were exclusively male and white, women and blacks formed their own groups, such as Les Mysterieuses and the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club. Dozens of krewes of all types have proliferated since then, including the science fiction-themed Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, whose name is a hybrid of the “Star Wars” character and the Roman god of wine. Despite being less than three years old, this krewe convinced Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the movies, to ride in its parade last month atop a Millennium Falcon float and alongside a mascot called Bar2D2.

6. Some krewes refused to racially integrate.
Racial exclusion has not been limited to the distant past. In 1992, after an acrimonious debate, the New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance that prohibited krewes from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation or national origin. Rex pledged to immediately integrate, but Comus, Momus and Proteus chose to stop parading rather than open up their ranks to blacks. Comus has not yet returned to the streets, Momus spun off into the Knights of Chaos and Proteus came back in 2000 after signing the non-discrimination pledge.

7. Mardi Gras occasionally gets cancelled.
Since Comus ushered in the modern era of Mardi Gras in 1857, the New Orleans festivities have been cancelled about a dozen times. Most of those cancellations came during the Civil War, World War I and World War II, though revelers also stayed home during an 1870s yellow fever outbreak. The last time it was called off completely was 1945. A scaled-down version even took place in 2006, just months after Hurricane Katrina flooded the Gulf Coast and killed over 1,800 people.

8. The Super Bowl interrupted the 2013 parade schedule.
New Orleans hosted both the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras in February 2013, a potentially overwhelming combination that some called “Super Gras.” In an effort at crowd control, the city expanded its 12-day parade season so that no one would be marching on February 3, when the San Francisco 49ers battled the Baltimore Ravens. January 28-31 and February 4-5 likewise were kept free of parades. In a similar attempt at preventing mayhem, official parades have been banned from the narrow, tourist-filled streets of the city’s French Quarter since the 1970s.

9. King Cake is only eaten during Mardi Gras.
Available only during the Mardi Gras season, king cake is typically made with brioche dough. Braided and laced with cinnamon, the dough is then glazed with purple, green and gold sugar or covered in icing in those same Mardi Gras colors. What really sets king cake apart from other desserts, however, is the small plastic baby hidden inside. Whoever finds the baby in his or her slice must buy the next cake or perhaps host the next party.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Hooray it’s paczki day!

If it’s Fat Tuesday in Michigan, it’s paczki day, a downright holiday in some communities.
So just where did this ball of deliciousness come from? Why is it so popular here? And where can you find this special doughnut to enjoy?

We’ve got you powdered and glazed right here.

It’s POONCH-kee people

When you first come across these Polish doughnuts, many are confused as to how to pronounce them. In Polish, it’s spelled “paczki” which is said as POONCH-kee. True Michiganders know this.

Literal translation from the Polish is: doughnuts, parcels, packages, bundles, packs. But these are no ordinary doughnuts. Paczki are made with a rich, egg laden, yeast risen dough. Traditionally made on Fat Tuesday, which is the day before the Catholic feast day of Ash Wednesday, which heralds the start of the Lenten season.

Lent, for Catholics, is the season to prepare for Easter, and marks a time of sacrifice and fasting. Fat Tuesday was the last chance to use up all the products that might not be enjoyed during Lent. The paczki allowed cooks to use up eggs, lard, sugar and jams prior to the beginning of Lent.

Packzi have been produced in Poland since the Middle Ages. Many credit King Augustus III, who was the king of Poland and the grand duke of Lithuania from 1734 to 1763 with improving the paczki recipe, due to his hiring of French chefs at the royal court. Interesting fact about Augustus: he and his wife Maria Josepha had 16 kids.

One traditional trick to a perfect paczki is to add a bit of grain alcohol to the dough, which helps the dough to not absorb too much oil during the frying process.

In Poland, the most traditional fillings are prune, and rose hip jam. Here in Michigan, you’ll find every flavor from raspberry, to lemon, to custard, to chocolate.

For more info. http://www.mlive.com/dining/index.ssf/2017/02/on_fat_tuesday_it_is_all_about.html

Eat a Paczki for me…..

Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday

When is Fat Tuesday? February 28, 2017; February 13, 2018; March 5, 2019; February 25, 2020; February 16, 2021; Arch 1, 2022; February 21, 2023

It’s time to party it up, and ….eat!!

Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians. In addition to fasting, christians also give up something special that they enjoy. So, Fat Tuesday is a celebration and the opportunity to enjoy that favorite food or snack that you give up for the long lenten season.

Nowhere on the planet is Fat Tuesday celebrated more than on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The day is celebrated with festivities and parades and of course much food and drink. While in New Orleans, a big tradition is in wearing Mardi Gras beads and giving them to others. And tradition requires that if a guy gives a girl some beads, she has to do something for him…..this can be just loads of fun………

Did You Know? On Bourbon street in New Orleans, store owners coat poles and columns with vaseline to keep wild and rowdy revelers from climbing them (and perhaps falling).

What is Presidents’ Day

presidents-day-2017-3-638

Image

There are over 120 types of Cancer

Cancer-Ribbons

Types of Cancer

Cancer.Net  offers individualized guides for more than 120 types of cancer and related hereditary syndromes. Each guide provides comprehensive, oncologist-approved information on: Overview, Medical Illustrations, Risk Factors, Prevention, Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis, Stages, Treatment Options, About Clinical Trials, Coping with Side Effects, After Treatment, Latest Research, Questions to Ask the Doctor, and Additional Resources

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) believes that all treatment decisions should be made between patients and their doctors.

Learn more about the different Cancers.

Learn more about Cancer treatment.

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”. (Charles Schulz)

 

happy-valentines-day-clip-art-5Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

Lovers’ holiday celebrated on February 14, the feast day of St. Valentine, one of two 3rd-century Roman martyrs of the same name. St. Valentine is considered the patron of lovers and especially of those unhappily in love. The feast day became a lovers’ festival in the 14th century, probably as an extension of pagan love festivals and fertility rites celebrated in mid-February.

Until the 19th century handwritten valentines were often given rather than modern mass-produced greeting cards.

“I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”
Unknown

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: