What's Behind The Mardi Party?: A Q&A From Me To Me

What's Behind The Mardi Party?: A Q&A From Me To Me

All the questions (and now answers!) I had from St. Louis's interpretation of Mardi Gras.
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Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which is logically celebrated in many places on a Saturday, is a day most people would associate with purple, green, and gold beaded necklaces flying out of windows and drunk people (and the remnants of their partying) littering the crowded streets. Yet watching these hooligans partaking in reckless behavior, you'd never know that there's actually a significance for this day of revelry. Here's a Q&A from me to me.


Q: Why the hell is there a holiday called Fat Tuesday?

A: Why not? But actually, though, Mardi Gras (translated from Fat Tuesday in French), marks the end of Carnival season and is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It is a day of which people party and pig out, a final hurrah before Ash Wednesday and Lent, during which they give up something. Mardi Gras originates from pagan celebrations of fertility and spring thousands of years ago, especially in Ancient Roman customs such as Saturnalia.


Q: What's up with the gold, purple, and green?

A: The New Orleans Krewe of Rex (NOLA Mardi-planning kings) chose the official color palette in the late-1800s. Gold symbolizes power, purple symbolizes justice, and green symbolizes faith.


Q: What is King Cake and why are there babies in it?

A: Okay, not real babies. This cake is family-friendly. According to the trusty Wikipedia, the oval-shaped, filled pastry is reminiscent of the biblical kings. The plastic baby (or another trinket) inside of it is a symbol of Jesus Christ, and of the kings supposedly bringing him gifts upon his birth. Christian customs state that on the “Twelfth Night”, or “Epiphany”, Jesus showed himself to the three wise men and the world. Whoever gets the slice of cake with the baby in it becomes “king” for a day and hosts the following year’s King Cake party.


Q: Okay, so how did we get to NOLA? And why is it so big there?

A: When French explorers came to the US in 1699, they established the spot Point du Mardi Gras in modern day NOLA and had a feast on Mardi Gras. Though Spanish conquerors banned rowdy Mardi Gras celebrations such as street and costume parties in 1812, a group of Paris-visiting, uber-ambitious students brought it back in 1827. In the years that followed, parades, marching bands, and projectile trinkets joined in the celebration.


Q: Is Mardi Gras legal?

A: Yup! It’s only a legal holiday in Louisiana, though. Alaska tried to make it a legal holiday, but the illustrious Sarah Palin immediately rejected the idea. No projectile trinkets for her, okay?!?


Q: Why the masks?

A: “But really, I've got nothing to hide!” The crowd drowns out my scream. In all seriousness, however, Mardi Gras is about having a great time regardless of the identities of the people around you. Masks were initially worn by people to escape societal constraints, and today they contribute to the mystery, excitement, and sheer insanity of Mardi Gras. Interestingly enough, float riders are actually legally required to wear masks!


Q: And what’s with those crazy costumes?

A: It’s all part of the fun! And it’s extra fun for Party City, which is currently rolling in the dough.


Q: Are drag queen races a required element of Mardi Gras?

A: Nah, but they sure make it interesting!


Q: Is that all, self?

A: Nope! It turns out that Mardi Gras is also known as “Pancake Day” and includes a celebration with pancakes and pancake themed activities in England, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and good ol’ Canada. I’ll bet iHOP does well…


Now please excuse me while I weep for the car that almost ran over my friends and me, the garbage that lined the streets of Soulard (in STL, MO), and the iHOP I’m now craving. And get your masks ready for February 13, 2018, when the festivities will commence again.
Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Stop Missing Summer Because Of Your Terrible Sleeping Patterns

It's a bad habit.

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We've all been guilty of a self-indulgent lie-in from time to time, whether we went to bed late the previous night or need a mental health day. But when summer rolls around, it becomes so easy to let the occasional lie-in until noon turns into a horrible habit.

Admittedly, it is nice to put off responsibilities that hang over our shoulders during the school year by staying in bed. It's great to be lazy every once in a while. It can do wonders for your mindset.

However, if you have nothing begging for your attention when the semester is over, that habit can become self-destructive in a way. You stay up past midnight, wake up around noon, dress—and then, the day is nearly over.

It becomes a vicious cycle that is difficult to undo, and if you don't undo it, you're missing out on a large chunk of your summer.

I find this has been happening to me recently. I stay up until two in the morning as I only work a few days a week, and wake up around noon. But in two hours, my sisters finish school, and what have I accomplished? Absolutely nothing!

The self-indulgent lie-in becomes miserable as you see those wasted hours turn to dust, and before you know it, you've already been at home for a month. What do you have to show for it? Days spent waking at noon and barely being productive?

If your sleeping patterns are in your control, I'd advise you to curl up in bed earlier, wake up earlier, and enjoy the world earlier. This is the free time you've been craving all year, and if you're not enjoying it properly, no one else will! The second you let your summer fall out of your control, you become irritated with yourself for letting it happen at all.

There is so much to take advantage of in the early mornings that you're sleeping through! So dress, head outside, and breathe in the summer for what it's worth!

(Also worth noting that sleeping until noon occasionally can be wonderful too, as we all need our relaxing time, but don't get sucked into the habit all over again.)

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