Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

It’s FAT TUESDAY! Why aren’t we all in New Orleans? Today is the day Mardi Gras is celebrated in the French Quarter. There will be parades, parties, food, drink, dancing and of course the famous King Cake and Mardi Gras beads! The French Quarter will be filled with costumed visitors wearing purple, green and yellow masks and feathers. People will party out on balconies and throw beads to passers by in the giant swarm of partygoers on the street below.

The term Mardi Gras actually refers to a season which begins on the Epiphany (January 6th) and culminates on the day before Ash Wednesday (this year it’s today, February 21st). This is the day to get in those last sweet, rich, indulgent foods before the fasting of the season of Lent. Mardi Gras is often referred to as “Shrove Tuesday” (shrove meaning” to confess”. In my family, we always had hot cross buns for breakfast. We also had pancakes for dinner. This is an Irish tradition carried down from my father’s family.

Whatever your heritage, Mardi Gras is a fun time to set aside the diet and splurge on good food, enjoying time with friends and living it up a bit before the solemn season of Lent.

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