Okay, so it is French. And we all know that Mardi Gras is coming. Right?
Anyway, Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez translates literally into Leave the Good Times Roll . I don’t remember every celebrating a real Mardi Gras – real in the bead-throwing/bead-collecting, alcohol drinking, breast baring way. So here are the childhood memories I have of Mardi Gras – almost all having to do with religion lessons.
Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday – is the Tuesday before a large number of Christians celebrate Ash Wednesday which is the start of the Lenten season. Lent is the 40 day period leading up to the resurrection and rising of Jesus Christ.
I was raised Episcopalian. Our church would have a huge all-you-can-eat pancake supper on Fat Tuesday. I have memories of going to it many years and working it many years once I was older. It was a parish event. People from all over the town came. It was a community event. People came together, sat at tables with people other than those they lived with, ate family style. The reasoning behind an all-you-can-eat supper was to have your food stick with you as Lent started on Wednesday. Lent is a season of sacrifice. The beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday – at least in Catholicism, is a day of fasting and abstinence.