Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Mardi Gras Musings

So today is Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. I was alerted to this fact after wondering aloud as to why the ski slope was covered with yellow and purple balloons on Saturday. To celebrate Mardi Gras, of course.

Every year that I was in college, I traveled down to New Orleans the weekend before Mardi Gras (14+ hour bus ride) with the rest of the Duke NROTC drill team to participate in a drill competition at Tulane and to march in the Crew de Iris parade. We'd arrive on Thursday, just sample the party on Thursday night, compete on Friday, enjoy the party on Friday night, march on Saturday, and let it all hang out on Saturday night, leaving late that night (early the next morning) to arrive on campus tired, hungover, and cranky Sunday night. I do want to return to New Orleans one of these days, to see the city under normal circumstances. I never feel the need to go during Mardi Gras.

It's funny that to a lot of people in the U.S., today is all about booze and beads and bare breasts. To some fellow bloggers, today is all about pancakes. To the BBC, today is second only to Christmas as a favorite religious holiday. To those who are very religious, today is about confession. To me, today is just another Tuesday, trying to get some work done before trivia tonight.

I did pick up some trivial tidbits. The pancakes, for example, are to use up all of that fat and milk and egg that should not be eaten during Lent. There are 40 days of Lent, which is a common Biblical number (40 days of Noah's flood, the Hebrews' 40 years in the wilderess, Moses' 40 days of fasting before receiving the 10 commandments), thought to come from Jesus' 40 days fasting in the wilderness preparing for his ministry. 40 is also the number of weeks of a full term human pregnancy. Hmm....

Anyway, have fun and enjoy those pancakes or beads or mombo or whatever. Spring is coming.


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