Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Mardi Gras Welcome.....


"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez"....or as we say in the South....

"Let The Good Times Roll"

Mardi Gras is officially in full swing and I decided to pay tribute to the wonderful city and state that we were so blessed to call home not to long ago..

My husband is from Louisiana so when his company moved us to Baton Rouge from Houston nine years ago, I had no idea how much I would fall in love with the city!  New Orleans was just an hour or so drive from Baton Rouge and we visited there so many times.  My girlfriends would come down and we would drive to the city to just hang out, shop and eat.  It is one of the the most fun cities I have ever been too and my little family hopes to make it home again one day.....as in retire!!!

Our Mardi Gras Front Porch


My rosemary bush is still going strong so I decided to just throw some beads on it with a mask as the topper and a festive boa wrapped around the base.....



I painted a sign with the French (or some call Cajun French) saying of "Let the Good Times Roll"..and used the doubloons or Mardi Gras coins we got with the King Cake from last week and glued them to the top....



I made a wreath using an old Christmas wreath as the base and just started adding Mardi Gras embellishments.  Most all of the accessories came from Party City, the Fleur De Lis ribbon came from a local boutique and the trumpet and crown were actually Christmas ornaments.  I attached everything using floral wire...






We ordered our King Cake from Manny Randazzo this year and it was so DELICIOUS...if you have never tried a King Cake I highly recommend trying this traditional cake.  It is a cross between a coffee cake and a french pastry.  They do next day delivery and offer a wide range of choices from sizes to fillings.  

I have included the history of the King Cake below...


Here is how it comes packaged (is it so yummy looking).....


The cups, beads and coins......

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you get the chance to visit New Orleans soon.


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History of King Cakes

The Mardi Gras or Carnival season officially begins on January 6th or the "Twelfth Night," also known to Christians as the "Epiphany." Epiphany comes from a Greek word that means "to show." Jesus first showed himself to the three wisemen and to the world on this day. As a symbol of this Holy Day, a tiny plastic baby is placed inside each King Cake. 
The King Cake tradition is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870. A King Cake is an oval-shaped bakery delicacy, crossed between a coffee cake and a French pastry that is as rich in history as it is in flavor. It's decorated in royal colors of PURPLE which signifies "Justice," GREEN for "Faith," and GOLD for "Power." These colors were chosen to resemble a jeweled crown honoring the Wise Men who visited the Christ Child on Epiphany. In the past such things as coins, beans, pecans, or peas were also hidden in each King Cake. 
Today, a tiny plastic baby is the common prize. At a party, the King Cake is sliced and served. Each person looks to see if their piece contains the "baby." If so, then that person is named "King" for a day and bound by custom to host the next party and provide the King Cake.
Mardi Gras Day has a moveable date and may occur on any Tuesday from February 3rd to March 9th. It is always the day before Ash Wednesday, and always falls 46 days before Easter.

Mardi Gras History


The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to Medival Europe, though we have no written record of how that really transformed into the current Mardi Gras of today. But the origins of the Mardi Gras we celebrate today -- with Kings, Mardi Gras colors, and brass bands -- are traced to New Orleans.
Although we can trace its history to the Romans, a French-Canadian explorer, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, landed on a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans in 1699 and called it "Pointe due Mardi Gras." He also established "Fort Louis de la Louisiane" (which is now Mobile) in 1702. In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated the very first Mardi Gras.
In 1704, Mobile established a secret society (Masque de la Mobile) ... similar to those who form our current Mardi Gras Krewes. It lasted until 1709. In 1710, the "Boeuf Graf Society" was formed and paraded from 1711 through 1861. The procession was held with a huge bull's head pushed alone on wheels by 16 men. This occurred on Fat Tuesday.
New Orleans was established in 1718 by Jean-Baptise Le Moyne. By the 1730s, Mardi Gras was celebrated openly in New Orleans.. but not in parade form. In the early 1740s, Louisiana's Governor The Marquis de Vaudreuil established elegant society balls -- the model for the New Orleans Mardi Gras balls of today.
The earliest reference to Mardi Gras "Carnival" appears in a 1781 report to the Spanish colonial governing body. That year, the Perseverance Benevolent & Mutual Aid Association is the first of hundreds of clubs and carnival organizations formed in New Orleans.
By the late 1830s, New Orleans held street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback to celebrate Mardi Gras. Newspapers began to announce Mardi Gras events in advance.
In 1871, Mardi Gras's second "Krewe" is formed, the Twelfth Night Reveler's, with the first account of Mardi Gras "throws."
1872 was the year that a group of businessmen invented a King of Carnival -- Rex -- to parade in the first daytime parade. They introduced the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold; the Mardi Gras song, and the Mardi Gras flag.
In 1873, the first floats were constructed entirely in New Orleans instead of France. In 1875, Governor Warmoth of Louisiana signs the "Mardi Gras Act" making it a legal holiday in Louisiana, which is still is.
Most Mardi Gras Krewes today developed from private social clubs that have restrictive membership policies. Since all of these parade organizations are completely funded by its members, we call it the "Greatest Free Show on Earth!"

Partying at the Amazing Blogs....

5 comments:

  1. YAY Mardi Gras!! I'm in Baton Rouge as well!! Love the porch!! So glad you talked about the history!! You have to come link up today over at Passionatelyperfect.com!

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  2. Great post. We just spent 5 days in New Orleans to see Va Tech play in the Sugar Bowl. Hubby and I love it. Thanks for all the info. I had my first King Cake when we visited Mardi Gras World to see all the floats.

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  3. Love your porch, Missy! As you know, Louisiana is near and dear to my heart, too!! You did a great job on the wreath, not that I'm surprised. :)

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  4. how fun! Thanks for sharing! I am going to make a sign like yours :)

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