Monday, March 7, 2011

Celebrating: Fat Tuesday

                Confession is good for the soul.  I must make a confession.  For the past couple of weeks, I have been struggling with this blog.  I have been struggling with a lot of things really: winter blues, spring fever, boredom, tired of reading, studying, and the list goes on and on.  Today I am really struggling.  I would rather take a nap then sit at the computer working on a post.  Yet, I look at the calendar.  Ash Wednesday is in two days.  Two days!!!  This is my favorite time in the church year and I am dreading it.  Today I thought I should write about something of some significance for the events of Mardi Gras, Lent, Fat Tuesday, and/or Ash Wednesday, but to be frank, it is boring me.  But, I will give it a go.
                Mardi Gras is French meaning Fat Tuesday.  Most people are familiar with the celebration that takes place in New Orleans.  The other day I did here on the radio how a friend criticized Catholics for such blatant hedonistic practices that take place in New Orleans during this time.  This is a secular celebration that isn’t supported by the Catholic Church.  I do know of one Mardi Gras celebration being supported by the church.  In our community, the high school youth group is throwing a celebration to raise money.  They are decorating with the official colors of purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power with carnival games and serving corn bread and gumbo.  This will be a G rated event.
                Actually, Mardi Gras is the French offshoot of carnival.  This celebration began with the Romans in the middle of the second century.  The word itself means farewell to flesh (meat).  The merriment would begin with Epiphany (January 6th celebrating the Three Kings visiting the baby Jesus with gifts) and ends the day before Lent.  Thus the tradition, of a “party” before Lent begins, has a long tradition.  Also, celebrations will be happening all over the world tomorrow for Wednesday begins the somber time of the year.
                Though none of this is exciting information for me, I did learn a bit.  I didn’t realize the link of carnival to Mardi Gras.  I also didn’t know this type of celebration started so long ago.  Unfortunately, I won’t be celebrating at the church tomorrow night.  My daughter and I have piano lessons and then she has open gym for softball.  Maybe afterwards, we will stop by for some ice cream.  Do you have plans for Fat Tuesday?  Do you have plans for Lent?  I am starting to work on mine, but that is another topic for Wednesday’s post.
                Blessings to you all.

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