Fat Tuesday! Splurge Then Purge!
By Mary Miller Cullins
Here in St. Louis we have had two weeks of splurging in the Mardi Gras season, tonight is Fat Tuesday; tomorrow we purge.
We all know how to celebrate the day, but where exactly did this over the top tradition come from? Here’s a little background for ya….
Fat Tuesday, which is the French for Mardi Gras, is a religious observance that has its roots in a Roman pagan festival.
The name “Fat Tuesday” comes from the custom to indulge on sweets and meats that Catholics traditionally forgo during the Lent period.
Mardi Gras is also known by the name “Carnival” which translates to mean “Eat all the meat.”
The day following Fat Tuesday is Ash Wednesday and Lent lasts for 40 days.
According to historians, French-Canadian explorer, Jean Baptiste Le Monyne Sieur de Bienville instigated the first American Mardi Gras on March 3, 1699, after landing close to New Orleans, on a spot he named “Pointe due Mardi Gras.”
In 1827 some Louisiana students returned from a trip to Parish and decided to revive the tradition in Louisiana, which had been lost due to Spanish control of New Orleans.
In the early 19th Century, the public celebration of Mardi Gras consisted mainly of maskers on foot, in carriages, and horseback. in 1837, a costumed group of revelers walked in the first documented “parade,” but the violent behavior of maskers during the next two decades caused the press to call for an end to Mardi Gras. That didn’t last!
Well, today is Fat Tuesday, the calm before the storm. In countries all over the world, Fat Tuesday is the last “hurrah”—aka-a great excuse to stuff your face with carbs and rich food and drink–before Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is the final culmination of an entire Carnival season, which lasts six weeks. So what are your plans tonight? Will we see you on Washington Avenue stuffing your face and yelling for beads? Party starts at 4 p.m. and the parade at 7 p.m.!! Come on now, St. Louis….LAISSEZ LES BON TEMP ROULER!!!
Parade Begins on Washington Avenue at Broadway– 7:00 P.M.!!!
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