Mardi Gras 2012 falls on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012 falls on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012 Parade !


Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday“, is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.


Mardi Gras History and Traditions

Mardi Gras is music, parades, picnics, floats, excitement … and one big holiday in New Orleans! Everyone is wearing purple, green, and gold; and adorned with long beads caught from the beautiful floats. They sit on the ground throwing balls, playing music, having a picnic, and watching the crowds walk by between parades.

During Mardi Gras, all of the businesses and roads are practically shut down — people are walking everywhere and meeting new friends. People are dressed in crazy costumes, kids are everywhere, and they love it! How did it all begin, and have the traditions changed? Take the links below for more information on Mardi Gras in New Orleans!

Fresh King Cakes Directly from New Orleans

King Cakes are a vibrant part of the Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans.

As part of our Christian faith, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. We refer to this as the Feast of the Epiphany or Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night. This is a time of celebration, exchanging gifts and feasting. Today, the tradition continues as people all over the world gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. A popular custom was and still is the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings called “A King’s Cake.”

Inside every cake is a tiny baby (generally plastic now, but sometimes this baby might be made of porcelain or even gold). The tradition of having King Cake Parties has evolved through time, and the person who receives the slice of cake with the baby is asked to continue the festivities by hosting the next King Cake party.

Originally, King Cakes were a simple ring of dough with a small amount of decoration. Today’s King Cakes are much more festive. After the rich Danish dough is braided and baked, the “baby” is inserted. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with delicious sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.

In more recent years, some bakeries have been creative with stuffing and topping their cakes with different flavors of cream cheese and fruit fillings.

January 6, the Twelfth Night after Christmas, is also the day our Mardi Gras season begins. Mardi Gras Day is always 47 days prior to Easter Sunday (Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday).

So, in Louisiana especially, Mardi Gras season and King Cakes go hand in hand with literally hundreds of thousands of King Cakes consumed at parties and office lunch rooms every year.

Ordering King Cakes over the internet has now become an annual tradition by consumers all around the world – and many of our bakers offer them year round. After all, you can’t have a Mardi Gras party without a King Cake!


Mardi Gras Balls

While most people think of parades when they think of Mardi Gras, other traditions continue. The King and Queen work all year for the big spectacular ball. Their identity is a closely guarded secret — and part of the mystique — until the night of the Ball.

Most of the balls are a formal and private affair for the Krewe. Debutantes are introduced at the Ball Tableau as a formal introduction to society. The climbing of the social ladder starts for the children serving as pages to the court. Women dress in ball gowns and hope to be issued a “call-out” card. If fortunate enough to receive one, she is seated in a selected area and waits her turn to be “called out” for a dance by the Krewe member that sent the card. A night of dining and dancing with a prince in formal attire – what a dream!

Attendance at the older, more aristocratic Balls is by invitation only. (No one really feels left out if they don’t receive an invitation, though. Lots of folks aren’t invited, including some governors who wanted to attend.) Originally, ball invitations were die-cut and printed in Paris — and they continue to be quite colorful and valuable works of art. These invitations are also collector’s items, often framed for their beauty, and are an interesting conversation piece.

Some large parades produce an indoor extravaganza the night of their parade. This is a wonderful way to experience Mardi Gras! Everyone dresses formally, enjoys the parade, entertainment, and food all night long! See rebroadcasts of one of these live “compucasts”–right here on the net!




Well, another Year of this Celebration is done,

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send in your stories and LEAVE COMMENT above on this page.

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