January 20, 2008


Mardi Gras 2008

I am sure that you are all aware that this is Carnival in New Orleans. It began on January 6th during the Feast of the Epiphany or King's Day or the Twelfth Night celebrating the 3 Wise men (Kings) who arrived in Bethlehem to see the Christ child thereby ending the Christmas season.

Carnival roots actually date back 5000 years. According to Becky Retz of the Times-Picayune, Carnival became a Christian holiday when Pope Gregory XIII put it on his Gregorian Calender, the same 12 month calender we use today. Mardi Gras was placed the Tuesday before lent so that all the sin can be committed in abundance before settling down into penance. This also allotted the newest Christians a time and venue to interpret their ancient customs. It appears that during this time, African, Caribbean, Latino cultures and Romans were converting and this was a way to celebrate ~ incorporating all sorts of traditions and ancient festivals.

Mardi Gras came to New Orleans with Iberville(Pierre LeMoyne, Sieur de)the french explorer in about 1699. When he sailed in from the Gulf with his brother Bienville (Jean Baptiste LeMoyne, Sieur de), it is said he set up camp and was settled by March 3, the same day Mardi Gras was being celebrated in France. This camp was approximately 60 miles south of where NOLA is today and was named by Iberville Point du Mardi Gras.

art by O.L. Coleman

The flavorful festivals, masked balls, krewes and throwing of the beads has continued and is quite the world-wide draw. With 29 krewes listed, the weeks ahead should be spectacular parades and incredibly good times.

From Surge to Resurgence
- Renew New Orleans -

Famous New York Mardi Gras artist Andrea Mistretta's work can be found here Andrea Mistretta and other New Orleans products can be found by clicking here.
Stay tuned, tomorrow we have Andrea Mistretta's new YouTube animation! Really cool stuff! Happy Day!

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