Today is Mardi Gras. And while everyone celebrates with colored beads, boobs, and booze, it seemed like a good time to provide a little primer on the holiday that typically helps us get over Valentine’s Day and holds us over until St. Patrick’s.
For the uninitiated, uninformed, and uneducated, here are just a few tidbits about Mardi Gras:
- Mardi Gras is the last day of Carnival
- Carnival begins on Epiphany (this is the day the Wise Men show up and give presents to baby Jesus. It’s on January 6 (12 days after Christmas)
- Mardi Gras is ALWAYS the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Yes, we said always. Don’t you listen?
- Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”
- Called so because it signifies the last day you can eat rich, decadent food, before fasting for Lent (which runs until Easter)
One of the most memorable parts of Mardi Gras (besides the parades, bead throwing, and topless women) is the King Cake. King Cake, named after the Wise Men/Kings, is sometimes associated with Epiphany, but more so with Mardi Gras.
King Cake is a pretty standard cake but is iced with the Mardi Gras colors: purple (justice), green (faith), and yellow/gold (power). The BEST part of King Cake, though, is Baby Jesus.
Traditionally, there is a little tiny plastic baby, representing baby Jesus, “hidden” in the cake. And whoever gets/eats the pieces with the baby (and hopefully doesn’t eat the plastic baby Jesus) is KING FOR THE DAY!
Now that you’ve had your #TheMoreYouKnow rainbow moment, raise your glass and grab a slice of King Cake and celebrate Mardi Gras like you’ve almost eaten the baby Jesus and are King for the day!
*Mardi Gras is based in Catholic/Christian traditions
Post by Dayna Brownfield. Facts via Wikipedia and Jessica Gradolf. Images via Dayna Brownfield and Jessica Gradolf