Carnival is a season starts today, January 6th—or Twelfth Night. Did you hear the starter pistol?
The number of days between Twelfth Night and Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday differs each year. This years, it’s 52 and several hours.
Click for the Countdown Clock to Fat Tuesday, which is February 28th this year.
In the Pelican state (Louisiana) and other southern states like Mississippi, Alabama, a bit of Texas and a spillover to the western panhandle of Florida, Mardi Gras is a holiday celebrated with an enthusiasm that matches Christmas. When most of folks are winding down and putting away holiday decorations, down in the bayou, Carnival is getting underway.
What must you have?
King Cake—It’s a tradition. Nothing else will do. Grab some friends and pick up a King Cake. The one who finds the baby in their piece must bring the King Cake to the party next week. Yep, next week. Remember, carnival is a season of celebration. So get your party on! If your local bakery doesn’t have a supply on hand, consider asking them to make one for you. OR you can order one from Randazzo’s and have it shipped to you in time for next week’s party. If you’re a baker, consider making a cake—I’m a great cook, but a miserable baker…I hate to measure ingredients. So here’s a recipe from a reliable source, Southern Living. Also, here’s good step-by-step instructions from Christy Jordan’s site.
Maybe I’ll get around to trying it this year—gluten free. Maybe we need to have a King Cake bake off. Anyone up for that?
P.S. Sometimes folks will put a doubloon in a cake rather than the little pink naked baby.
Beads—these can be found at most Party Supply stores in the USA. If you don’t have one near you, let your fingers do the walking and let UPS do the delivering. I often shop Mardi Gras Beads, a store in Gulfport, Mississippi because it’s an easy in-and-out with the car—I don’t generally drive in New Orleans so carting around bags of beads is challenging. Now, beads are used by Krewes as throws. More to come in the next post on Mardi Gras, so you have something to look forward to. For the moment, let’s focus on the basics—you getting your party on!
Music—Yes, there must be music! Fun, make your toes tap and hips sway, kind of music. Jambalaya is one of my favorite songs. To get your party mojo moving, please meet Tab Benoit. He’s here to help you get your joie de vivre going.
(In case you’ve not seen Tab before, trust me, he’s easy on the eyes. In fact, he’s the inspiration for Nick Trahan in Bayou Bound and BILOXI: Fleur de Lis Brides Book 2, which will hit the stands next week on January 11th. AND I have tickets to see him in Atlanta soon.)
Have you heard Cajun Radio 1470 AM? No? They’ve selected their choice for Mardi Gras songs. Give them a listen! Songs like “Mardi Gras Mambo” By The Hawketts.
Now about Mardi Gras colors. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but according to the Mardi Gras New Orleans site, the Krewe of Rex selected the official Mardi Gras colors in 1872 to honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Romanoff, who suggested the colors. The 1892 Rex Parade theme “Symbolism of Colors” affirmed the colors’ meaning.
Purple is for Justice.
Green is for Faith.
Gold is for Power.
Join me from today until Fat Tuesday and learn all about Carnival season!
Laissez les bons temps rouler Let the Good Times Roll!
Twitter: @LJWriter https://twitter.com/LJWriter