Today is Fat Tuesday. Since I am not Catholic, Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday have been days that have long been shrouded in mystery to me. I remember seeing paczkis (pronounced poonch-keys) at the grocery stores as a child, and even partaking of them in college, but I didn't know for sure why they existed (other than that they are delicious and fattening). On Ash Wednesday I would see my Catholic friends come to class with ash smudges on their foreheads and full of conversation about what they had given up for lent, but I had no idea what these really symbolized. All I know is that I felt like I was missing out on something.
So, today and tomorrow I decided to lift this veil once and for all and do a little research on the Net (maybe we'll head to the library as well) and learn all about these holidays and customs. I find as an adult that at times I need to force myself to be more curious, and today is one of those days where I have grown so accustomed to not knowing for sure, that it would be easy to just let the days pass by again. Not today, I feel like I have been missing out too long, and there must be something in these days for my family to enjoy as well! I want the girls to understand what these things represent, and maybe even adopt some new family traditions along the way.
The following information on Fat Tuesday was taken from:
"Fat Tuesday is Mardi Gras, the festival New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for. "Gras" is French for fat and "Mardi" is French for Tuesday.
The annual festivities start on January 6, the Twelfth Night Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings are supposed to have visited the Christ Child, and build to a climax on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which always occurs on the day before Ash Wednesday. The parties and parades will continue until Lent begins at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday.
Mardi Gras is a legal holiday in New Orleans. It is scheduled to occur 46 days before Easter. Since the actual date Easter occurs on changes yearly, Mardi Gras can happen on any Tuesday between February 3 and March 9.
For two centuries it has been an annual event in New Orleans, except during the two World Wars."
(from: http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia/explain/docs/fat_tuesday.asp )
FUN RECIPE IDEA: KING CAKE
A little research for a fun recipe to make tonight turned up King Cake. I think I will attempt to make this tonight for dessert to celebrate Fat Tuesday at our house.
The recipe along with information about its tradition is found at one of our favorite places to go for ideas: Family Fun Magazine
MARDI GRAS COLORING PAGES AND MASKS
How do you celebrate Fat Tuesday? Do you have stories, games, fun traditions to share? I would be excited to learn more about this holiday from you!