Mardi Gras Is Not Just A Holiday To Get Drunk

Contrary To Popular Belief, Mardi Gras Is Not Just A Holiday To Get Drunk

There is a much deeper meaning to this Louisiana holiday.

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This year was the first year that I experienced Mardi Gras. Obviously, not being from the same region of the country I really had no idea what it was going to be like. My friends were so excited to be there with me to experience it, and they were even willing to drive me down to New Orleans to let me experience Fat Tuesday the only way imagable.

Now here is a history lesson for anyone who doesn't know what Mardi Gras is.

Mardi Gras originated from religious leaders that decided to include these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier job than getting rid of them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, which is a huge influence culturally in Louisiana. Mardi is the French word for Tuesday, and gras means "fat." In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as feasting the last day before the fast. Traditionally, in the days leading up, merrymakers would eat all day on the rich, fatty foods, in anticipation of several weeks of eating only fish and other various foods.

Now the traditional meaning of Mardi Gras has changed to parades, binge drinking, and partying. It has been more of an excuse to party than to actually celebrate the holiday for its intended purpose. It also doesn't hurt that students get a much-needed break, schools generally give either a five-day weekend or the entire school week off.

I was expecting to go to into the heart of the city to be overwhelmed with drunkness and paranoia of checking to make sure that everything has not been stolen off me. However, I got so much more out of it.

I went to the Zulu parade and met locals as well as tourist from California. The locals have always come to this parade since they were little and it has been a tradition to go with other family and friends. Generally, the day parades are more family friendly, but they closer to sunset it gets the wilder the parades tend to be. The tourists have always wanted to come and to have the Mardi Gras experience, and they finally saved up the money to do so. As a first timer, I was already so ecstatic to be in the atmosphere but all the krewes, bands, and other performers really made the parades a lot of fun to watch.

I highly suggest going to at least one Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans at least once in your life because you truly won't be able to understand the holiday until you go down and experience it yourself.

Mardi Gras does not mean getting drunk, wearing costumes/mask, and partying. It means getting together to celebrate traditions as well as celebrate the community you surround yourself with every day. Even if that means drinking and partying with them.

I cannot wait to celebrate Mardi Gras next year.

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26 Of The Most American Things Ever

Because...'Murica.
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It's no secret that America is one of the most visited and most loved places in the world. From Alabama to Wyoming, the United States of America has something going on in every state with something for everyone to enjoy. Some of those things are more iconic than others. Here are 26 of the most iconic American things ever:

1. Baseball.

2. Apple pie.

3. Mount Rushmore.

4. Our welcome sign.

5. NASCAR.

6. BBQs.

7. Camping.

8. Country music.

9. Reality TV.

10. Sweet tea.

11. Groundhog Day.

12. Stephen Colbert.

13. Shark Week.

14. Fireworks.

15. Pickup trucks.

16. The Superbowl.

17. John Wayne movies.

18. Boy/Girl Scouts.

19. PB&J sandwiches.

20. Uncle Sam.

21. Captain America.

22. Blue jeans.

23. Beer.

24. John Deere.

25. Coca Cola.

26. McDonald's.

Cover Image Credit: Web-Images.ChaCha

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45 Songs To Add To Your Memorial Day Playlist

Songs to truly remember what the holiday is for.

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I come from a family that would always go to the lake for Memorial Day and grill with friends and family. However, we always flew our flag and remembered why we celebrate Memorial Day. Both my granddads fought back when you didn't have a choice, back when young men died to protect this great country. To this day there are brave men and women dying to protect this great country and for you to be able to grill with your family. Here are 45 songs to add to your playlist.

1. ‘Letters from Home’ by John Michael Montgomery 

2. ‘Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)’ by Alan Jackson

3. ‘God Bless The USA’ by Lee Greenwood

4. ‘In Color’ by Jamey Johnson

5. ‘Something to Be Proud Of’ by Montgomery Gentry

6. ‘Old Army Hat’ by Billy Ray Cyrus

7. ‘One Hell Of An Amen’ by Brantley Gilbert

8. ‘Ragged Old Flag’ by Johnny Cash

9. ‘American Soldier’ by Toby Keith 

10. ‘God Bless America’ by Martina McBride 

11. ‘Some Gave All’ by Billy Ray Cyrus

12. ‘8th of November’ by Big & Rich

13. ‘Call A Marine’ by Toby Keith 

14. ‘Courtesy Of The Red, White, And Blue’ by Toby Keith 

15. ‘Song of the Patriot’ by Johnny Cash

16. ‘I Just Cane Back (From A War)’ by Darryl Worley

17. ‘I Stand For The Flag’ by Wes Cook Band

18. ‘Where The Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly’ by Aaron Tippin

19. ‘For You’ by Keith Urban

20. ‘Blood Brothers’ by Luke Bryan

21. ‘It’s America’ by Rodney Atkins

22. ‘Fallen Soldier’ by Nathan Fair

23. ‘Brothers’ by Dean Brody

24. ‘If I Don’t Make It Back’ by Tracy Lawrence

25. ‘Semper Fi’ by Trace Adkins

26. ‘Only in America’ by Brooks & Dunn

27. ‘Ships That Don’t Come In’ by Joe Diffie

28. ‘Have You Forgotten?’ By Darryl Worley

29. ‘Heroes Come from Small Towns’ by Rockie Lynne

30. ‘Arlington’ by Trace Adkins

31. ‘Riding With Private Malone’ by David Ball

32. ‘POW 369’ by Darryl Worley

33. ‘Red White & Blue’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd 

34. ‘We Fought Hard’ by Billy Ray Cyrus 

35. ‘A Soldier’s Memoir (PTSD Song)’ by Joe Bachman

36. ‘Boy in a Uniform’ by Rockie Lynne

37. ‘Nineteen’ by Billy Ray Cyrus

38. ‘This Ain’t No Rag, It’s A Flag’ by Charlie Daniels Band

39. ‘America Will Survive’ by Hank Williams, Jr.

40. ‘Til The Last Shot’s Fired’ by Trace Adkins

41. ‘If You’re Reading This’ by Tim McGraw 

42. ‘Survivor Guilt’ by Rise Against

43. ‘Hero Of War’ by Rise Against 

44. ‘Ballad of Balad’ by Toby Keith

45. ‘I Want You to Live’ by George Canyon


This year as you are gathering around the table about to chow down on a burger or hotdog remember the ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice to allow you the freedom to have a great time. Happy Memorial Day!

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