Mardi Gras! Come on everyone, go wild!


Mardi Gras! From New Orleans to Rio, the carnival is here. Yay! Well, maybe not everywhere as you can see from the photographs.

Well those two old men might be planning something wild for later on, who knows. The two crows look like fun-lovers too Come to think of it. That pigeon is wise in flying off – who knows what would have happened to it if it had carried on hanging out on that roof.

Apart from them, there really is no sign of Carnival here.

Not even at the doctor’s surgery where I went to give an armful of blood.

Maybe the loss of blood has made me light headed.

Should I put a bunch of bananas on my head, find a trumpet and go out there onto the streets and whip up some energy?

Maybe not…I am living just a bit too near to the police station.

It was the wise old Roman Catholic Church that decided long ago that if you can’t beat something then just join it. If only they had such a fun-loving spirit these days.

The church didn’t like pagan festivals. Well you can see the point. How can you support rituals that involve all sorts of wakey and wild gods when you are trying to get people to go along with a very sensible and grown up one.

One of the most dangerous of these festivals was Lupercalia when lusty Romans celebrated the joys of the flesh in an even more uninhibited way than you would even see today in a Roman nightclub.

They were celebrating all kinds of things really – it was the feast day for one of their gods, the one who had an unendingly adventurous sexuality. It was also a time to welcome in the Spring and, let’s face, it was just a time to let rip, take your shirt or bra off and have a few drinks.

The church thought that action was needed so Mardi Gras was invented – the day that you could revel and have fun whilst our moral advisers turned a blind eye. Well done Roman Catholic church, we could do with a lot more days like this.

The downside of the Catholic Mardi Gras is that it comes the day before Lent – yawn – when we have to give up all the fun, eat very boring food, drink water or weak tea, and put our clothes back on. Not only for a day either – forty of them. No wonder it has lost its appeal with the partying set.

So Carnival has caught on and is now definitely a whole lot more popular than Lent. The word Carnival comes, yet again, from the Latin: Carnis levamen, solace of the flesh.

So,you Lenten lovers out there, walking by my windows, if you are going to observe all the fasting that is coming up – recession, unemployment and house repossession, make the most of today.

In New Orleans and Rio, bring out the jazz and samba bands, men in tights, women in less and have a whale of a time.

And, here in Britain, join in the fun too.

Toss a pancake. Yea, right.

16 Comments

  1. I assume you didn’t go far into the history of Lupercalia so that someone would point out that it was named for the Roman grotto in which Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were reared by a…drumroll please…you all guessed it….

    ….wolf!

    From whence all celebrations spring. Don’t be so modest.

  2. Well there was no surprize at all that you knew it Anatole.

    I suspect, in fact, that you have made a special study of pagan eroticism.

    If not, then I think I will get in there first.

    Sounds such fun. I mean it sounds so educational.

  3. Maybe we could all put bananas on our heads tonight!
    Do they have stomping majorettes in Rio, do you think? Our version of ‘carnival’ is sadly impoverished down this way.

  4. I have a lovely bunch of bananas as it happens, Bridge, so I am well up for it.

    We should try to get Anatole and Claudio on board too.

    What does a guy wear with a bunch of bananas though? I would hate to get it wrong.

    The majorettes in Rio? I dunno….I suppose you can samba majorettes and if they haven’t yet, we have given them a really good idea.

    Certainly tossing a pancake is a pretty lame alternative.

    As Anatole implies, I have some family connection to all this as one of my distant relations suckled the original Romans.

  5. Hmm. I think that the only thing that differentiates pagan eroticism from the 21st-century variety is the level of guilt and secrecy involved. That said…mmmm, somebody just walked in with a box of donuts…don’t tell! Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

  6. And the only appropriate thing for a gentleman to wear with a bunch of bananas is a banana hammock.

  7. I guess with your doughnuts and my bananas, Anatole, we could get quite a lively pagan Carnival going!

    Is it the guilt and secrecy that is stopping us?

  8. Yes, of course, silly me! Where did all that guilt and secrecy come from in the first place?

    There is nothing stopping us going completely bananas tonight.

    Vive le Mardi Gras!

  9. I’m game if you are, although,I’m not sure Claudio would take kindly to being dressed with fruit in his absence.
    Still, people can surprise us and I do have some very nice cherries that can serve as earrings.
    Tell me more about the doughnuts.

  10. Cherries would be perfect Bridge!

    I am sure Claudio would be up for it if we told him it was only for the creme de la creme.

    We shouldn’t leave Anatole out either, especially as he is bringing the doughnuts.

    I thought he was being silly at first but now I have thought about it, I think doughnuts are the piece de la resistance. Especially if they have jam in them.

    I was wondering too about a chocolate dip.

  11. Donuts, locally called fastnachts, are a popular German-American Shrove Tuesday treat in my part of the US. So much so in fact that today is often referred to as Fastnacht Day. I’ll bring a batch.

    Honestly, though, I’m not big on the sugary treats and will stick to the cherries and bananas. But if there’s going to be chocolate dip…

  12. Fruit is lovely with chocolate dip.

    Hang on though, I’ve lost track of what we are wearing and what we are eating!

  13. Eating? Who mentioned eating?

  14. Bridge, I believe losing track is the entire point!

  15. dip me in chocolate! et toi!!

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