Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Random Thoughts on Fat Tuesday

This is going to shock you (well, maybe not, if you read my last post), but I never knew Mardi Gras in French meant "Fat Tuesday" until September of 2001 when Donica and I spent a week in New Orleans. I never knew it was the day before Ash Wednesday. I never knew it had to do with "living it up before you die!"

First of all (I'll come to my own defense!), I didn't/don't know French. True, Spanish was close enough, which should have helped. But when I think of all the connections I never make on so many other things, I'm not surprised. I frequently tell Donica to never assume I know anything!

Secondly, there was this thing back in my day about how the baptists/protestants threw the baby out with the bath water in relation to Roman Catholicism.

Hang on. Let's save that for tomorrow, Ash Wednesday!

In the meantime, poor New Orleans. Poor Mardi Gras. Poor 9th Ward. Will any of it ever be the same?!


  1. IF it helps yyou feel better, I didn't figure it out until today when I finally thought I'd translate the words mardi gras into english. Um Duh - Mardi=Tuesday Gras=Fat thus Fat Tuesday.... So simple of a translation but something that I never bothered to think about.. So you are not alone Ginnie. Happy Mardi Gras to you!

  2. I confess I never thought about it either!!! I have no excuse . . .

  3. ET: Coming from you, YES, I feel better :)

    Ruth: You and I came outta the same quiver! That's our excuse.

  4. But isn't it great when that little light suddenly goes off in your head? Now you can add this little tidbit to your vast store of knowledge.

    In our family today is Pancake Tuesday. Mmmm...pancakes - talk about living it up before you die :-)

  5. And I just came out of Fastnacht and wish I could eliminate it from the calendar. ;)

  6. Christina: I LOVE it when the light goes off in my head. YES.

    I can't remember when I last made pancakes but that would certainly be living it up :) Good for you. Love those traditions!

    Tim: HA. Too much "living it up?" Or too much "debauchery" (good baptist word).

  7. We have a lot of these Mardi Gras "shi.." here in the region where I live. Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf are wellknown for the big carnival processions with hundreds of thousands of people bordering the streets. I'm happy that it's over now!

  8. Does over mean over, KPK? I fly to Hannover on Sunday and I wonder if I'll see any remnants of carnival? Probably not. I was surprised how quickly they cleaned up after Christmas!

  9. I have lived in a seasonal holiday town and so understand that living in a city where Mardi Gras is an annual event, with hordes of tourists, would make one glad when it was all over. But I would LOVE to attend a Mardi Gras!!

    They showed us a bit of NO's Mardi Gras on TV over here in NZ. Looked like fun, but they went on to show us all the derelict, abandoned areas with no electricity or services. Really sad.

  10. Hey everybody, this is sooooo funny! It seems that not so many knew about the meaning of "mardi-gras". And of course, being a French Canadian, I knew.

    But what makes me laughing is that I never heard of Fat Tuesday until today. If you had asked me, I had say that you were calling that, well... "Mardi-Gras", of course!

    For me "Mardi-Gras" is the apotheosis (is that a word?) of the period of the Carnival like the beautiful one we have here in Québec City. But I don't do Mardi-Gras anymore, and I don't do lent anymore either. But I think it's not such a bad idea to do lent, because at this time of the year, I usually get a little fat... :O)

  11. DW: I wish you at least one Mardi Gras/Carnival in your lifetime that will fulfill your dream. After which I'm sure you'll be "over it." The Rosebowl Parade is more my style--all the floats without the craziness :)

    Clo: We just keep amazing each other, don't we :)

  12. Actually, Ginnie, since I work in a bakery, I'm one of those poor souls who had to work all night from midnight to 8:30 in the morning two night in a row so people wouldn't get lice. :)