Thursday, January 26, 2012

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

 Let the Good Times Roll!

Carnival season starts after epiphany (the twelfth night after Christmas) and goes until Lent. Festivities don't usually get started until it gets closer to actual Mardi Gras day, but in our home we take the tree down and start listening to our favorite Zydeco music on Jan 7.

If you want to get into the Mardi Gras spirit too, check out the Putumayo New Orleans Playground. It is zydeco music geared towards kids. This album is in the main rotation for our Mardi Gras kids playlist. It has favorites such as Choo Choo Ch'Boogie, Second Line and Whole Lotta Lovin' and When the Saints Go Marching In - Big Band style. I'm Loving it.

Mardi Gras is a family affair for us. My husband is in a crew in south Alabama so we've been doing the Mobile festivities, parades and ball (my favorite part) for years. He actually has been involved long before I came around. But, with my love holidays, I was destined to celebrate. 

My First Ball - 2007

Wait wait wait! Did I just say Mobile, Alabama? But, I thought Mardi Gras was in New Orleans! 

That's right there is a Mardi Gras Celebration in New Orleans and it's known for being the wildest celebration around. There are many little towns from the Panhandle of Florida to Louisiana that have their own way of celebrating, with parades and such. But Mobile is the Original Mardi Gras! That's right. First.

In 1703 the tiny French colony of Mobile observed North America's first Mardi Gras.
In 1830 a group of men dawned rakes, hoes and cowbells and took to the streets with much noise rightfully calling themselves, The Cowbellion de Rakin society. Allthough they marched on New and not Fat Tuesday, they were a true antecedent of Mardi Gras in Mobile and the first mystic societies, which were later formed in the 1830s.
Later, in 1857, the Mobile members of the Cowbellian de Rakin Society traveled to New Orleans and assisted with the formation of the Mystic Krewe of Comus, to this day New Orleans' most prestigious Mardi Gras society. 
There was a pause in festivities in Mobile during the Civil War. 

On Fat Tuesday in 1866, Joseph Stillwell Cain set out to raise the spirits of Mobile. He donned Chickasaw Indian regalia, called himself "Chief Slacabormorinico," climbed aboard a decorated coal wagon pulled by a mule and held a one-float parade through the streets of Mobile. Mardi Gras with all its frivolity was reborn!

Cain founded many of the mystic societies and built a tradition of Mardi Gras parades. In fact, he is remembered each year on Joe Cain Day, which is the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. Known as "the people's day," Mardi Gras revelers decorate anything they can push, pull, or drag for the Joe Cain Procession and parade, which is as much fun to watch as it is to ride. 

(Most of this info is from here)

Lottie all dressed up - 2011

As I mentioned before, Mardi Gras is a family affair for us. The Mobile celebrations are a different breed then the wild ones you have heard about. I for one, have not seen boobies flashed for the sake of getting the most loot, but notice that it's the cute kids getting pummeled with stuffed animals, beads, binky things and Moonpies.With parade spectators usually only being one or two deep, its not hard to get away with more loot than you can carry anyway, sans booby flashing.

 Sunnin' my baby belly - 2009

 Do whatch'a wanna - 2008

Happy Mardi Gras

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