You know I try not to talk much about politics or religion because they’re polarizing, but… I am who I am and I try not to apologize for it. I promise this post is really more philosophical and/or cultural than religious!!
That being said, I grew up with one foot in the Methodist Church, my seat in an Episcopal Church, and then the other foot led all of me to the Catholic Church when I was old enough to make such a decision. So all of that’s to say, I grew up doing Shrove Tuesday… only we just called it Pancake Supper, and it was generally hosted by the Youth Group. I thought it was a fundraiser and didn’t realize it had historical/cultural/whatever implications until I was a ‘tween and THAT church began having a Seder Supper.
It wasn’t until … just a few years ago, when I made friends with some New Orleans natives (who happen to be Catholic), that I began to understand that Mardi Gras is much more than the hoopla on Bourbon Street. The short version of this lesson is that Mardi Gras ends at midnight on Fat Tuesday. There’s also a bit of a French class in there too – because it’s a very loose translation of Fat Tuesday.
Anyway, in case you missed it or forgot, I kinda’ fell in love with the bits of NoLa I got to see last year, so I’m wearing kelly green and royal purple, and my officially imported from the Big Easy beads. (And no matter what the Knight tells you, I did NOT lift my shirt to get them. They were part of the welcome package from our host League. I promise.)
Anyway, I adore the sharp contrast between the practice of Shrove Tuesday and its pancakes – using up the sugar, butter, eggs, white flour in the pantry before Lent – and Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras and its rather hedonistic celebrations, also in the name of using up the fats that aren’t to be eaten for 40 days…
Either way, they both remind me that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. When I was younger, I gave up something – sugar, chocolate, sodas – for Lent. The past few years, I’ve focused more on the spiritual reflective part of the season. This year, my former firefighter potty mouth is back almost full strength, so I’m giving up bad language. I think I’m going to have a little jar or something and put a dollar in it every time I slip up, and then I’ll donate what I hope is a paltry sum somewhere…
(I’d never noticed that Sis is sticking her tongue out. Funny girl. She’s DEFINITELY more Fat Tuesday in the French Quarter while Gretchen is more of a Shrove kinda’ girl…)