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Indulgence Before Denial
January 27, 2010 - Sunny Day
Indulgence before Denial…
Modern activities differ from town to town and state to state, but all of those who participate in this annual season of excess enjoy the mid winter passion of Mardi Gras!
The earliest celebrations were in Mobile, Alabama; Biloxi, Mississippi & New Orleans, Louisiana which at one time or another in that order were the capital of Louisiana – simply because those three states made up the territory of Louisiane, under French jurisdiction.
While the celebrations vary from state to state, the history and many traditions are shared by not just these three cities, but by any community wanting to herald in the season of Lent.
In Mobile, the carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations are dominated by mystic societies which are private social organizations (they are similar to the krewes in New Orleans). The Order of Myths was founded in 1867 and is the oldest mystic society in Mobile. These mystic societies present masked balls, parades and other activities for the enjoyment of their members and guests as well as the public.
In New Orleans in 1856 the Mistick Krewe of Comus was founded and held its first parade in 1857. Comus is the oldest continuously active Mardi Gras organization and it began many traditions that we continue to enjoy today including floats in the parades.
During the parades, it is common practice to toss small gifts to the spectators. These gifts are called "throws". Throws can be anything from candy, flowers, doubloons, bead necklaces, lingerie, cups, hats or any other items the crowds might enjoy.
Mardi Gras and Carnival refer to the celebrations that begin on or after the Epiphany and end on the day before Ash Wednesday - Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday). Mardi Gras in French means Fat Tuesday, but the term has come to encompass the entire period, not just one day, of the events that take place over this time period. It is understood that during this period, revelers will indulge themselves in preparation for the season of Lent when the focus is on a more introspective and somber spiritual behavior and on denial of the things most enjoyed in keeping with religious traditions.
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