Mardi Gras - a vent

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by keista, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. keista

    keista New Member

    I am getting increasingly annoyed with Mardi Gras. (this kind of thinking could be why some think I'm an Aspie) Not the celebration itself, but the blasphemous twisting and using of it.

    First, Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. If you don't believe me or Wikipedia, then check some translating software.
    Second, it is a semi religious celebration. The last brouhaha before Lent - a period of fasting. Once Lent sets in, there's supposed to be no partying going on.

    What bugs me: Universal Studios has a "Mardi Gras" celebration going on from Feb 11 to April 14th. This is before and throughout Lent. A city just south of me is having a "Mardi Gras" celebration next weekend. Also after Lent has begun. Said city drove me particularly nuts with a catch phrase in their TV ad "It's time to Mardi!" WTH? It's time to fat????????????

    Now, I'm all for capitalism, and capitalizing on celebrations and all, but if you're going to do it, do it right. It simply isn't anything resembling Mardi Gras if it's AFTER Lent has started. Do it all BEFORE Ash Wednesday ppl!

    Does this kind of thing happen anywhere else?

    by the way I am not a practicing Catholic. I'm not a practicing anything, but do have respect for religious practices, and something like this just really, really, irks me. And when I think about holidays in general, I get irked even more because if a holiday is not conveniently 'located' on a weekend, it is generally celebrated BEFORE the actual holiday and not after (think St Patrick's Day, 4th of July, Valentine's).

    Really just venting, but thoughts and opinions welcome.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    LOL! I completely agree with you!

    I see "Mardi Gras" celebrations popping up all over the place....this weekend and that weekend...and it seems to have absolutely NOTHING to do with Lent and/or a Tuesday. In fact, I remember speaking to a friend who wanted to get involved with organizing a "Mardi Gras Weekend" as a fundraising event....and he got really upset with me when I pointed out the very same things that you mention here. And he explained that "Mardi Gras" just means a party.

    I guess that's the direction things are heading...
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We as a society have started coming up with extra reasons to do stuff.

    For instance - how many people not near the border or in places with a high percentage of the population being Hispanic know about el dio de los muertos? Religious holiday, in a way just like Mardi Gras.

    I'd never heard of Sweetest Day before I moved to Ohio.

    I'm all for celebration, but it does get taken wayyyyyyyy too far!

    PS - giving up anything for Lent? I am. Drinking and smoking... LOL but then, I already did, and it'll keep going LONG past Easter...!
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Well, if you'd really like to get into this...

    It's based on far older traditions of many cultures, the most recent of which (prior to Mardi Gras) is the Roman/Italian Carnivale (sp), a period of indulgence. Many civilizations had such annual celebrations (variations on a theme), figuring that if they "get it out of their systems" once a year (and do it really well) they'll mostly behave the rest of the year.
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    Good. I'm not alone.

    Like I said, I'm all for celebrations. I'm all for capitalizing on celebrations, but let's do it right.

    in my opinion it's a wonderful thing to learn about different cultures and celebrations. Cinco de Mayo is pretty big around here due to a large Hispanic community even though it's not Mexican. The calendar I have lists all sorts of holidays for different countries. Occasionally the kids will ask what something is and we look it up. Great learning experience in a growing global culture.

    Pretty funny/ironic if you think about it. Today is President's Day. Other than shop sales, what does anyone do for President's Day? No parades, no parties, no nothing. Hmmmmmmmmmmm I guess dead presidents aren't a "party worthy" cause.:groan:
  6. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    OK, on one level I agree with you. It is supposed to be a last celebration BEFORE lent which gives it some religious significance and, if you're going to do it, do it right. I suspect it's just another attempt by some to get people to spend money.

    On the other hand, with all of the important problems the world has today, I think I might let this one go. Some battles are just not important enough to fight. I think I might put this in that category.
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Yes, Haozi. You can even go further back and find pagan roots. Pre-Christianity, many cultures celebrated at the Spring Equinox. Post-Christianity, the pagan Spring celebrations were moved to be celebrated before Lent and as such, traditions combined in 'compromise'
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    LOL That's why I'm here venting. I know it's really a trivial issue, but it consumes me to the point that I get like this :rollingpin: and can't function.

    Yeah, I think I mentioned this may be one of my Aspie traits.
  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I've never gotten too in to the religious or cultural implications of these holidays like Mardi Gras or Cinco de Mayo or even St. Patricks Day. But I suspect that most of those people out there celebrating don't have a clue about what they're really all about either, especially if it's not part of their own culture. What's really happened here is that all the media hoopla and today's younger generation have turned them in to just another reason to hit the bars and party!
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Those would be some of the cultures to which I was referring :) Others even older, I'm not sure if they would be referred to as Pagan or not, and some which used other times of the year for such celebration, but you got the gist of it all.

    So.... who's drinking with me?
  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    If it helps... I made Duckie work on her FDR report for school today. :rofl:
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It isn't so much that dead president's aren't a party worthy cause, but more that they can be a real PITA to bring to the parties.

    I understand what you mean about Mardi Gras. I choose not to deal with it as much as possible because it seems mostly commercial to me. I enjoy celebrating, but I like to have something meaningful to celebrate. Even if that is just Thursday, I can get into celebrating it because I got to have another one. But the problem with Mardi Gras (at least for me) isn't that people don't know/understand it, it is that they REFUSE to try and can get ugly/nasty if you attempt to give them any info on what they are celebrating. Mardi Gras has a rich and interesting history but now it is just an excuse to sell booze and food and party supplies.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    When times are rough, you'll notice far more celebrations go on. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's a fact. It keeps the masses minds off their problems, at least for that length of time and gives them reason to believe (valid or not) that all is well. If you can make a profit off of it, even better. Think hemlines. They go up when times are good, and down when they're bad. No one knows why, it just does.
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes, exactly!

    That is exactly the problem - folks want to "participate" in the celebration without the bother of actually assigning any meaning to it at all. Mardi Gras looks like a good time - therefore *I* am going to have a good time, too!