Saturday, January 26, 2013

And So it Begins

Last night was the first of the big parades, the start of the "first weekend" of Mardi Gras.1 I love few things more than the a high school marching band passing by two feet away, drum majors high-stepping, horns swinging and blazing, baton girls twirling, snares rat-a-tat-tatting, and best of all, I love the moment the bass drums pass, almost intolerably loud, the boom-ba-boom-booms resonating in the chest.

Love it.

1 Mardi Gras is technically just the actual day Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the day before Lent,2 but it gets more loosely used to describe the festive couple of weeks leading up to the day itself. Things get rolling this first weekend, simmer through the mid-week, with parades each night, reach full boil the second weekend, and just go all to hell (in a good way) on Mardi Gras day.3 (Carnival is the more rigorously delineated season, which starts with Epiphany — upon the conclusion of the Twelve Days of Christmas — and runs through Mardi Gras day. But the first part of Carnival season is comparatively quiet, marked by Carnival balls for the members of various elite krewes and, more importantly, by the consumption of king cakes.4 (It's a complicated business.))

2 I always thought Lent was just the forty days leading up to Easter, but the duration-computation is actually way more complicated than that.

3 That's the usual deal. This year will be extra bat-shite crazy because we're hosting the Super Bowl in the middle of it all. Nuts.

4 King cakes are a whole nother story, which I'm too tired to go into right now. (It's been a long day. Mardi Gras is tiring. (One of the tiring things about Marsi Gras is the mental effort required to navigate between and around parades that slice through half the city. I'll just mention that I performed a long sequence of straight up Mardi Gras ninja-level navigational maneuvers today.))

No comments:

Post a Comment