February 15, 2012

How to Celebrate Mardi Gras With the Family

Mardi Gras is next Tuesday. We've never really celebrated it much around our house, but if you're interested in a great way to bring the holiday into your home and an excuse to celebrate, here's are a few ideas I found over at Snap! with great and simple ideas like these:

[caption id="attachment_2609" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="via Snap!"][/caption]

Family Friendly Mardi Gras Celebration Ideas:

[from Snap! via Paisley Petal Events)

Here are some ideas to help your family celebrate Mardi Gras this year:
1. Decorate masks.
2. Serve a traditional New Orleans style dinner.
3. Bake a king cake (or cupcakes).
4. Decorate the dinner table with Mardi Gras colors and symbols.
5. Listen to music typical of New Orleans such as zydeco, jazz & blues.

And also a quick little FAQ I found off the official New Orlean's Mardi Gras website:

No one will believe the tradition on Bourbon Street where women are offered beads to bare their breasts to the crowd. Could someone explain this? Where did this tradition come from?

Answer: As a fifth-generation New Orleanian, let me say this was never and is still not a tradition. Saying it is "tradition" is like saying that people who get drunk and pass out on Bourbon Street are following tradition as well.

Thankfully, this does not occur everywhere in New Orleans during Mardi Gras -- but just on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter area. An area known for its strip joints (where those interested in this sort of thing can see it year round). Let me explain why you may have heard this rumor. Within the last 10 or so years, a few spring-break age tourists visiting our city get drunk after the parades, go to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, and lose their inhibitions. The others are onlookers. The end result is that certain types of individuals are now attracted to the French Quarter in the evenings after the parades.

Our beautiful balconies are noted for being a wonderful place to enjoy the history, atmosphere, and culture of the Quarter as the sounds of jazz drift by after a fantastic meal. During Mardi Gras, many think of them as a place to get away from the crowd surges below. (Bourbon Street balconies during Mardi Gras are now sold to news media, large corporations, or long-term customers up to 5 years in advance.)

Sadly, many bystanders caught in this crowd will never return to Mardi Gras ... because they don't realize they did not experience the "real" Mardi Gras. It does not occur in this area. The Mardi Gras locals grew up with, enjoyed, and love... is occurring everywhere else -- throughout the entire city of New Orleans and all of its surrounding suburbs!

Local Mardi Gras krewes who bring you the "Greatest Free Show on Earth" do not even parade through the Quarter. That is why you have never seen a parade filmed from a balcony in the Quarter -- you just see the crowds after the parades.

The result: If you're a woman, be warned. If you go into the French Quarter at night after a parade, many men are there just to see the sleazy stuff they saw on the news or the internet... and often assume every woman there wants to be part of the frenzy.

We look forward to the day people will again understand, appreciate, and experience the magic of Mardi Gras!

I couldn't help but laugh at that one.

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