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Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday
 47 days before Easter Sunday

Mardi Gras 

Celebrations beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany
(Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday.
Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Related popular practices are associated with Shrovetide celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent.
In countries such as England, Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday,
which is derived from the word shrive, meaning "confess".
Mardi Gras is also called “carnivals,” from the Latin words carne and vale, “meat” and “farewell,” meaning a farewell to meat before the abstinence of Lent.

Mardi Gras Around the World:

  • Mobile, Alabama: Mardi Gras! 

  • London, England and all of Great Britian: Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day

  • Binche, Belgium: Carnival

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Carnival

  • Quebéc, Canada: Carnival

  • Nice, France: Carnival

  • Venezia, Italy: Carnival, Giovedì Grasso 

  • Malta: Carnival

  • Moscow, Russia: Maslenitsa or Butter week

  • Trinidad and Tobago: Carnival

  • Goa, India: Holi

  • Cologne, Germany: Carnival, fasching, fastnacht 

  • Poland: Sledziowka

  • Sweden: Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday)

  • Australia: Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day

  • Barranquilla, Colombia: Who lives it, is who enjoys it!

  • Cadiz, Spain: Carnival

  • Rethymnon, Crete: 

  • Oruro, Bolivia: diablada (devil's dance)

  • Budapest, Hungary: Carnival

  • Greeks celebrate Tsiknopempti, which literally means "Thursday of the Smoke of Grilled Meat". It is celebrated 11 days before Clean Monday

Traditions around the World:

Budapest, Hungary: Carnival



Cardamom Cream Puffs!
A "semla" (most common name in Sweden) or fastlagsbulle (Southern Sweden and Swedish speaking Finland), laskiaispulla (Finnish), vastlakukkel (Estonian) or fastelavnsbolle (Danish and Norwegian) is a traditional sweet roll made in various forms in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Norway, 

Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Latvia, and Lithuania associated with Lent and especially Shrove Tuesday in most countries, or Shrove Monday in Denmark, parts of southern Sweden and Iceland.


Paczki Day in Poland!


Spain: Omelettes or Día de la Tortilla

I love this omelette with peas, potatoes and chorizo!


Celebrates with Crepes!


A malasada is a Portuguese confection for Fat Tuesday!


Lithuania: Sprugos


In Lithuania, these exquisitely-shaped sweet treats can also contain booze and raisins, but they sound delicious plain too.

Lithuanians also eat blynai on the day, which are essentially little pancakes!



Creamed Peas and Onions!

Cyprus & Czech Republic:

Cyprus & Czech Republic


In Cyprus, there's an entire week--called Kreatini-- that's dedicated to consuming meat before it's forbidden during Lent.
In the Czech Republic, the day before the start of Lent is called Masopust, meaning
"farewell to meat," where revelers
slaughter and cook a whole pig. 


Colombian Marimonda or
Elephant Dancers!
Fried Papas Criollas
(Colombian-style Creamy Fried Potatoes)



Gilles of Binche parade during the carnival event in Binche, Belgium!
The Gilles toss oranges and greet each other with champagne! 



Street Foods in Brazil during Carnival!
Caipirinhas & Meat on a Stick!



In Italy carnival.....
No Meat Here!

The word carne may also be translated as flesh, producing "a farewell to the flesh",

a phrase embraced by certain carnival celebrants

to embolden the festival's carefree spirit. ...


The Italian carne levare is one possible origin, meaning "to remove meat", since meat is prohibited during Lent.

Galani are served for carnival!


Goa, India: Holi​ or festival of Color!
Gujiya is eaten!


Bolivia: Diablada (devil's dance)!
Angels and Devils
dancing groups pay homage to the Virgen del Socavón inside Sanctuary, Oruro Carnival

Lots of Fruit is eaten at this time.


Cadiz, Spain: Carnival​

Orejuelas are much like Mexican sopapillas. These crunchy triangles of fried dough are typical during Carnaval and are almost always doused in honey!


It's Russian Mardi Gras:

Time For Pancakes, Butter And Fistfights

​Out with the old and in with the new!

The celebratory burning of The Maslenitsa doll symbolizes the end of a harsh winter and the coming of a fruitful spring.


Malta: Carnival


London, England!
Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday!

Pancakes, in Christianity, symbolize 
"four pillars of the Christian faith—

  1. eggs: for the creation

  2. flour: as the mainstay of the human diet,
    the staff of life

  3. salt: for wholesomeness

  4. milk: for purity


In Wales 
They Sing for their Welsh Pancakes (Crempog)

Auntie Elin Enog

Please may I have a pancake?

You can have tea and brown sugar

And your apron full of pudding

Auntie Elin Enog

My mouth is parched for pancakes

My mum is too poor to buy flour

And Sian is too lazy to get the treacle

And my father’s too sick to work

Please may I have a pancake?

United States
Mardi Gras!

Mobile, Alabama

​Time for Mobile Mardi Gras

  • 1703: Mardi Gras observed for the first time in the New World by French pioneers at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement of Mobile.

  • 1711: Carnival is born in present site as residents join in song, food and dance. Papier-mâché bull, in honor of Boeuf Gras (another name for Mardi Gras), is pulled down Dauphin Street in what is believed to have been the first carnival “parade” in North America.

  • 1862/1865: Carnival is canceled during the Civil War.

  • The home of Joe Cain, located in the Oakleigh Garden Historic District in Mobile.
    He is regarded as reviving Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration following the Civil War. 

    1866: Joe Cain revives Mardi Gras after the war by costuming as undefeated Chief of the Chickasaw Indians, “Old Slacabamorinico,” and leading the Lost Cause Minstrels in a procession through the city in defiance of occupying Union troops.

  • 1872: First Royal Court is reigned over by Daniel E. Huger, first king of Carnival, styled as Emperor Felix I. The Mobile Carnival Association is organized.

  • 1875: Alabama Legislature declares Shrove Tuesday a holiday in Mobile.
    The public is encouraged to close down business and to mask.

  • 1890: First Jewish mystic society, The Continental Mystic Crew, is founded.

  • 1894: Order of Doves, believed to be the first Black mystic society in Mobile, is formed.

  • 1917-1918: Carnival canceled because of World War I.

  • 1929: First electric floats roll into Mobile via the Infant Mystics’ Parade.

  • 1942-1945: World War II cancels celebration of Carnival.

Americans usher in the new year with diets and lifestyle resolutions galore, but many people across the globe — particularly those from predominantly Catholic countries — celebrate the calendar change with a sweet pastry known as king cake. It first appears in bakery cases at the beginning of each year and can be found at the center of celebrations through early spring. Some associate it with Mardi Gras, others with a celebration known as the Epiphany.

King cake is eaten on January 6 in honor of Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, which historically marks the arrival of the three wise men/kings in Bethlehem who delivered gifts to the baby Jesus. (The plastic baby hidden inside king cakes today is a nod to this story.)

King cake also appears on tables throughout the Carnival season, which runs from Epiphany to Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent),

at which point practitioners typically abstain from such indulgences as cake.

The tradition of placing a bean, candy or figurine of the baby Jesus inside the cake is followed. Whoever finds it must take it to the nearest church on

February 2, Candlemas Day, which celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. According to the Jewish tradition, an infant was to be presented to God in the Temple forty days after his birth.The use of candles on Candlemas represents the light of Christ presented to the world.
In the United States, people who find the baby Jesus figurine in their piece of cake usually agree to host a party on Candlemas (February 2) or Fat Tuesday.

Today, the baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it in his/her slice of cake. In some traditions, the finder of the baby is designated “king” or “queen” for the evening. That person is also responsible for purchasing next year’s cake, or for throwing the next Mardi Gras party.

Joe Cain Day in the South! 

Joe Cain is largely credited with initiating the modern way of observing Mardi Gras and its celebrations in Mobile, Alabama, following the Civil War. In 1868, following a visit the previous year to New Orleans and while Mobile was still under Union occupation, Joe Cain paraded through the streets of Mobile, dressed in improvised costume depicting a fictional Chickasaw chief named Slacabamorinico. The choice was a backhanded insult to the Union forces in that the Chickasaw tribe had never been defeated in war. Joe was joined at some point by six other Confederate veterans, parading in a decorated coal wagon, playing drums and horns, and the group became the "L. C. Minstrel Band", now commonly referred to as the "Lost Cause Minstrels" of Mobile.

The Sunday before Fat Tuesday, Joe Cain Day is celebrated as part of the scheduled Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, with its center being the Joe Cain Procession (never called a parade). This has been called “The People’s Parade” because it is performed by citizens without being run by a specific Mardi Gras krewe. Originally, anybody who showed up at the parade start on Sunday morning could join in with whatever makeshift float they could cobble together. Eventually, the sheer size and the city's desire to have all the Carnival parades conform to the same set of rules forced the organizers to limit the participants to a preset limit. The parade is preceded with the visit of the “Cain's Merry Widows” to the gravesite of their “departed husband” 


Joe Cain is buried in the Church Street Graveyard in downtown Mobile, Alabama. His gravestone carries the inscription:

Here lies old Joe Cain

The heart and soul of Mardi Gras in Mobile

Joseph Stillwell Cain

Slacabamorinico - Old Slac

1832 - 1904

In 1866 (sic.), Joe Cain dressed as a mythical Chickasaw Chief, and might have seemed comic - but certain perceptive ones realized he represented the epitome of victory - for the Chickasaws were never defeated in all their history. So Joe Cain, with his masquerade, lifted this region from despair and revived the ancient French observance of Boeuf Gras - now known in Mobile as Mardi Gras - thus inaugurating the dispute as to who had Mardi Gras first - Mobile or New Orleans?

Mobile had it first, but New Orleans was the first to call its carnival Mardi Gras...

The Boeuf Gras Society was already 150 years old in 1861, when it disbanded because of the Civil war...

According to tradition - Joe Cain was the first folly to chase the devil round a stump...

Joe Cain founded the Tea Drinkers in 1846...

Here lies, also, Joe Cain's beloved Wife

Elizabeth Rabby Cain

1835 - 1907

Mardi Gras season begins on January 6, of each year and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. One of the wonderful traditions of Mardi Gras, and probably the most delicious, is the King Cake.

On the Christian calendar, the 12th day after Christmas is celebrated as the date that the gift-bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus. This day, January 6, is known by several names, including


"Twelfth Night",

or "Kings Day".


The celebration of this event has evolved over the centuries,
with each culture adding its own unique rituals.


The Mobile, AL/ New Orleans/ Gulf Coast tradition, borrowing heavily from European influences, is believed to have begun in the 1870's. There are many symbols for Mardi Gras such as the Fleur-de-lis & Moon-pies! One of the biggest symbols would be the King Cake. As part of this celebration, it is now traditional to bake a cake in honor of the three kings - the King Cake.

Fleur-de-lis is French, fleur means "flower", and lis means "lily". 
The lily's three petals are the Holy Trinity held together by the Blessed Mother.

King Cakes are oval-shaped to symbolize the unity of faiths.


Each cake is decorated in the traditional trinity of Mardi Gras colors -

purple representing justice,

green representing faith,

gold representing power.

(The colors & shape of the king cake reminds me of the catholic 

A small baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is traditionally hidden inside each King Cake.
(He is the reason for the season!)

On the Gulf Coast, King Cake parties are held throughout the Mardi Gras season.


Like the Biblical story, the "search for the baby" adds excitement, as each person waits to see in which slice of cake the baby will be discovered. While custom holds that the person who "finds" the baby will be rewarded with "good luck", that person is also traditionally responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party or gathering.

The "traditional" King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, covered by poured sugar and sprinkled with purple, green and gold colored sugar.


Today, many additional varieties of King Cake are also available by adding cream cheese, or other fillings to the "traditional" King Cake.

Enjoy a taste of New Orleans by starting the King Cake tradition in your home, classroom, or office today. Have a safe and Happy Mardi Gras!





United States:


King Cake Recipe


  • 1⁄4 cup butter, soften

  • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese, soften

  • 1⁄3 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 TBSP active dry yeast

  • 1 TBSP white sugar & Honey

  • 1⁄2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)

  • 4 eggs

  • 2/3 cup flavorless vegetable or canola oil

  • 7 cups all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Filling 
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (16 ounces total)

  • 1 egg

  • 3⁄4 cup sugar

  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Colored Frosting 
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons milk

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 drops green food coloring

  • 2 drops yellow food coloring

  • 2 drops blue food coloring

  • 2 drops red food coloring

Colored Sugars 
  • 1 1⁄2 cups white sugar

  • 2 drops green food coloring

  • 2 drops yellow food coloring

  • 2 drops red food coloring

  • 2 drops blue food coloring


  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese.

  2. Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar & honey in 1/2 cup warm water 110 degrees in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes (bloom it); Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour; beat with a dough hook with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth; Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. 
    This is a very soft dough.

  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes; Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top; Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

  4. Using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth; Add egg and blend well; Add sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy; Set aside.

  5. Punch dough down; divide in half; Turn 1 portion out onto a lightly floured surface; roll to a 28- x 10-inch rectangle; Spread half each of cream cheese mixture on dough; Roll dough, jellyroll fashion, starting at long side; Place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet; Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and punching edges together to seal; Repeat with remaining dough and cream cheese mixture.

  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

  8. Decorate with bands of Colored Frostings, and sprinkle with Colored Sugars.

Colored Frosting :

  1. Stir together powdered sugar and melted butter; Add milk to reach desired consistency for drizzling; stir in vanilla; Divide frosting into 3 batches, tinting 1 green, 1 yellow, and combining red and blue food coloring for purple frosting.

Colored Sugars :

  1. Place 1/2 cup sugar and drop of green food coloring in a zip-top plastic bag; seal; Shake and squeeze vigorously to evenly mix color with sugar; Repeat procedure with 1/2 cup sugar and yellow food coloring; For purple, combine 1 drop red and 1 drop blue food coloring before adding to remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

The Sounds of the South...
Ms. Doreen Ketchens is Amazing!
You can't help but smile!

Movie of the Day!
Princess and the Frog 
I can't tell you how much I love this movie,

it makes me think of home... 

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