Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday!

The terms "Mardi Gras" (mär`dē grä) and "Mardi Gras season", refer to events of the carnival celebrations, ending on the day before Ash Wednesday. From the French term "Mardi Gras" (literally "Fat Tuesday"), the term has come to mean the whole period of activity related to those events, beyond just the single day, often called Mardi Gras Day or Fat Tuesday.

The time period varies from city to city, as some traditions consider Mardi Gras as the Carnival period between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday. Others treat the final three-day period as being Mardi Gras. In Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras events begin in November, followed by mystic society balls on Thanksgiving, then New Year's Eve, formerly with parades on New Year's Day, followed by parades and balls in January & February, celebrating up to midnight before Ash Wednesday.

Other cities most famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and New Orleans, Louisiana
. Many other places have important Mardi Gras celebrations as well. Carnival is an important celebration in most of Europe, except in Ireland and the United Kingdom where the festival is called "shrovetide" ending on Shrove Tuesday and pancakes are the tradition, and also in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.

A perfect scene from the Walt Disney Classics Collection that is fitting for Mardi Gras is the Festival of Fools Scene from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The scene made it's debut in March, 2007 with the release of Esmerelda ("Bewitching Beauty"), the 4th release (and rumored to be final release) in the Leading Ladies Series. Esmerelda was sculpted by Kent Melton and Limited to Production Year 2007.

When Esmerelda was unveiled, collectors were given a sneak peek at Quasimodo ("King of Fools") and Clopin ("Harlequin Host"), released in July 2007 with an Opening Title. Quasimodo, Clopin and the Opening Title are all Open Edition releases. Quasimodo and Clopin were sculpted by Tony Cipriano.

Happy Mardi Gras!! For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of Youtube.com) is the Festival of Fools Scene, to the tune of Topsy Turvy! Enjoy!!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is ©Disney


Gurgi said...

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! In this part of Pennsylvania it's known as Donut Day. Everyone is supposed to make homemade donuts to use up the "fat" in your house. It's a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition using a potato based batter. Very sweet. You fry the donuts in the oil (fat) let them cool and then when you want one you put it in a paper bag with powdered sugar, close the bag (very important!) and shake. Voila! You have a yummy powdered sugar donut!

Anybody else have this tradition? You are supposed to eat all of the donuts that day, but we always have some sitting around a few days after Lent starts (bad!)

Herc said...

Happy Mardi Gras Carl!!
Not doing anything special. I know tonight we are having a good dessert as my wife gives up sweets for Lent.