The Widdershins

Archive for February 22nd, 2014

mardi-gras-beads and mask

Oh yes, it’s getting close to that day in New Orleans ~ Mardi Gras.  Nola is already in full Carnival mode and this will be the biggie weekend of parades around the metro area.  Carnival season officially starts with Twelfth Night, literally the 12th night after Christmas..although there’s some disagreement about exactly which day it falls on.

There’s actually a bit of confusion about the actual date. It’s the 12th Night of Christmas, which appears to originally have been counted from Christmas Eve. So actually the evening of January 5th, the eve of Epiphany (January 6th), is apparently the true 12th night. And it was the final burst of Christmas revelry. Unlike modern times which seem to start Christmas activity around Halloween, Christmas used to be celebrated for 12 days and didn’t start until Christmas Day.

However, 12th Night has come to be most celebrated, at least in New Orleans, on January 6th, the 12th day and night after Christmas Day. January 6th is also known as the 12th Day of Christmas, Epiphany or Kings Day. It’s the traditional day celebrating the arrival of the Magi or three kings at the manger with their gifts for Jesus.

Mardi Gras itself (the day) is actually March 4th this year and will wind up the whole shebang at midnight that night.

There have been lots of new rules as Bill Maher would say, regarding the parades in the city, mostly on St. Charles Ave. and what you can and cannot do or bring to a parade route.  People would rope off entire sections the “neutral ground” (median) of St. Charles Ave. for their exclusive use, putting up their ladders (originally so kids could be up high to catch throws from the floats), putting living room sofas out on the neutral ground and some folks would even rent their own port-o-lets for their exclusive use.

Mardi Gras terlets

Mardi Gras terlets

Well, the city council outlawed “private” port-o-lets entirely, but the city is providing a certain number of them.

It remains to be seen if the city will provide enough of them.

I can tell you from previous experience that quaffing any number of beers or other adult beverages while waiting for and then watching a parade can lead to some unpleasant and undesired consequences.  You either need a good friend who lives along a parade route or have some cash handy to go buy another drink at a bar just for the privilege of standing in line to get rid of the other drinks you had consumed.  Another thing that happens to those who do reside along a parade route is that sometimes paradegoers will take it upon themselves to “leave a gift” in the hallway of an apt. bldg.  hallway threat

I’ve never known anyone who would do such a thing  as described above, but obviously someone has since it seems these folks had to post a warning sign.

Mardi-Gras Liquor

click on me to make me bigger

Now naturally since this a time of celebration and letting the good times roll, liquor will be a bit part of the festivities and as you can see, one store had their varieties of vodka lined up ready for purchase.

That picture is of bottles of “King Cake” flavored vodka.  King cake is sweet.  It is very sweet.  I cannot imagine drinking a vodka that is that sweet.  But looking at the picture they sure as hell must sell a lot of it.  😉

Something that’s new for me is an throw that some krewes were tossing and they were…I’ll call them “booze beads”.  booze-beadsHow clever!  You catch enough of these and you can cut down on the amount of your own liquor you have to drink at the parade!

One of the parades I always enjoyed was not a parade of humans dressed up in costume, but rather the “mutt” parade of the Krewe of Barkus.  I forget the particulars of it now, but either the King or the Queen has always been a rescue dog and they are literally treated as royalty, enjoying a fine luncheon at Galatoire’s Restaurant in the French Quarter.  If you go to the nola.com link for Barkus there is a photo gallery of the luncheon that was held yesterday.  The theme of this year’s parade will be :  DOGZILLA – Barkus Licks the Crescent City.   😆
You can believe it will be a hoot and I’ll try to put up some photos after the Times-Pic gets them online.

A special thanks to Jeffrey and his blog Library Chronicles.  I “borrowed” the pics to use in this post, but I did email him and ask permission.  It’s just that I had already downloaded the pics to use when I emailed him.

I’ll close this with two classic Carnival songs.  It’s an open thread.

You hear this one a lot also.


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