Pull Out Your Beads and Masks – Mardi Gras is March 4th!

Is it just me, or is this year FLYING by?  I can’t believe it’s almost March and Mardi Gras is just four days away.

Ruby Gallagos holds a handful of beads before a Mardi Gras parade. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Mardi Gras, also known as Carnivale, Carnival, Shrove Tuesday and Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”), is the last day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  Fat Tuesday is celebrated around the world, with the largest celebration in the world occurring in Rio de Janeiro.  In the US, New Orleans, LA is most famous for their long-standing Mardi Gras party and parade and people flock from all over the world to be a part of it!


Popular celebratory practices include wearing masks, costumes, beaded necklaces in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of Purple, Gold and Green, and FOOD (it’s called FAT Tuesday for a reason!).  Traditionally, there are cakes, pastries, and pancakes as well as plenty of other rich and fatty foods to indulge in.

mardigrasblogMardi Gras ParadeMardigrasmask

I’ve never been to Carnivale or Mardi Gras, nor has anyone in my family, but it was a tradition in our house to celebrate it (along with most celebrations – Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo, etc…basically, anything and everything that allowed us to break out of the norm, enjoy different food, learn about other cultures, dress up and be a little silly, even if only for dinner).  We would pull out our beaded necklaces, wear masks adorned with purple feathers make Hurricane Drinks (for adults only, of course) and eat a dinner consisting of crab dip, gumbo, rice and fried bread, then we would always have a slice of King cake for desert!

GumboMardi Gras HurricaneKing Cake

If you are interested in setting some of your own traditions, you can find recipes Here, HereHere, and Here.  Or, if you prefer to have someone else do the work for you, we have one restaurant in town that is known for their Mardi Gras party (so much so that they have a clock that does a “Countdown to Mardi Gras” running every day).  I’m afraid to call them out by name, for fear of “endorsement” – but the restaurant is located close to the Health Sciences Campus.  If you have never experienced Mardi Gras or a taste of New Orleans, their party is a lot of fun.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!  (pronounced lazay lay bon tom roulay) OR…..