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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras!!!!!

Being a transplant to VA from the great state of LA, born in the wonderful town of New Orleans, it makes me look back and reflect on Mardi Gras' past. I love Carnival season in Louisiana and everything it brings with it.

King Cake is my all time favorite treat, and one of my best friends down in LA had to tell me about King Cake ice-cream, but of course, you can't get that in Virginia!

Some of you may ask, "What is a King Cake?" and my answer to you is this:

The king cake traditionally was served on "Little Christmas" or "Kings' Day" other names for the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated Jan. 6. Since Epiphany comes on the twelfth day of the Christmas celebration, it also became known as Twelfth Night.Traditionally the cake was baked on Epiphany Eve and served the following afternoon to family and friends. Today, the cake is served throughout the "Epiphany season," or until Mardi Gras.

By the Middle Ages, veneration of the three wise men had spread throughout Europe and Epiphany became known as The Feast of the Three Holy Kings. The cake was baked in honor of the Magi.

Latin Americans, like New Orleanians, place a figure representing the Christ child inside the cake. In other cultures, the king cake might contain a coin, bean, pecan or pea. In medieval France, the coin finder was expected to make a contribution to a worthy cause, usually the education of a deserving youngster. In some parts of Europe, those who find the bean and pea are king and queen for the day.

In New Orleans, the person who receives the piece of cake containing a "baby" must provide the king cake for the next gathering of the season. (In some offices, king cake has become a daily treat for the full length of Carnival.)

And, the parades are my other favorite thing about Mardi Gras! The Krewe of Bacchus always has a celebrity as their King and this year, it was none other than Tony Soprano.

So, Happy Mardi Gras everyone!!! And remember, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday so overindulge today in whatever you plan on giving up until Easter!


Beth said...

I haven't decided what I'm giving up for Lent yet. Let me know how that whole no-diet-coke thing works out for ya!

Mary said...

Hmmmmm..... Could I give up buying yarn for 40 days? That would truly be a sacrifice!