Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, or even just Paczki Day, no matter what you call it, every year millions of revelers across the world spend this day eating traditional French treats, live music, gaudy beads and lots of festive dress. This is the last hurrah for most in the Catholic faith, before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, a period of sacrifice.
The neat thing about Mardi Gras though, is that it doesn’t matter what you believe in, as long as you believe in having a good time. It has transcended its religious roots to become, for many, secular, focusing in on community and celebration. And with New Orleans still rebuilding, so many years after Katrina, the air of celebration is also tinged with a sense of charity, of reviving one of the greatest towns in the US.
Crazy dress is a must for this holiday, namely anything in green, purple and gold. From jester hats to lapel pins to sequined dresses, Mardi Gras parades and parties are designed to impress, shock and awe the public. Flamboyant and fancy, these parades get bigger and more outlandish every year. There’s even a parade king and queen, voted on by the public.
At the office here no one is wearing an emerald green evening dress or sporting any Vegas show girl headgear, but we are enjoying a traditional paczki, which is a delicious pastry filled with any number of sweet or even savory concoctions. They’re indulgent and festive and everyone certainly looks forward to Paczki Day. So do what you can in your own life to celebrate today, even if it’s only to throw on Fleur de Lis lapel pins. Happy Mardi Gras!