...is Mardi Gras! Are you ready? Have you ordered your party supplies and searched online for your favorite recipe to celebrate? If not, maybe I can help you out a little...First, a little background. The celebration officially kicks off at the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th and continues on until the day before lent begins--Ash Wednesday. It is said that people would feast and celebrate (Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" when translated) before fasting during lent.
Today, Louisiana's Mardi Gras is celebrated not only in New Orleans, but also in numerous smaller cities and towns around the State and in the neighboring Gulf Coast Region. Similar celebrations are also held in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro...arguably the world's most elaborate Carnival location with its Samba Dromo parades, which annually attract a huge number of tourists from all corners of the globe. Regardless of where the festivals take place, however, all share a common party atmosphere inherently associated with the celebrations.
The colors associated with the event are gold (which represents power), green (for faith) and purple (for justice). You can find tons of paper goods and craft items at craft and party stores--and it can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. This year I plan on taking a king cake to my children's classrooms.
You can easily do a google search and purchase an authentic king cake and have it shipped in time for the festivities (which is why I'm posting this today!). However, I'd also like to share this recipe for those of you who would like to take a stab at it yourselves...
So what is a king cake, you ask? A king cake is a circular pastry that can be fruit filled or plain, and covered with glaze. Traditionally, a single plastic baby (representing the three kings finding Jesus) is placed on the underside of the cake (not baked inside, as someone could break a tooth or choke.) One person cuts the cake into equal parts, making sure everyone is served and there are no leftovers. The person who receives the baby is then obligated to throw the party the following year. It is totally fun!
I found a plastic baby at a local cake shop without any problem...
There are a bunch of things you could do with your family or children (or their classrooms) if you'd like to give it a shot. I've taken the liberty to list a couple...
Necklaces, Floats and Noisemakers
More General Info
Have fun with it!!