Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Shrive, Genesis 1:20-2:4, Psalms 8:4-9, Mark 7:1-13, Saint Julian, Shrove Tuesday Mardi Gras, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 2 Article 2:3 Only Son of God

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Shrive, Genesis 1:20-2:4, Psalms 8:4-9, Mark 7:1-13, Saint Julian, Shrove Tuesday Mardi Gras, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 2 Article 2:3 Only Son of God

Good Day Bloggers!  Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Heed the Solemnity of Lent! As the Psalm says: “The Lord is my Shepherd! I lack nothing. In grassy meadows he lets me lie. By tranquil streams he leads me to restore my spirit. He guides me in paths of saving justice as befits his name. Even were I to walk in a ravine as dark as death I should fear no danger, for you are at my side. Your staff and your crook are there to soothe me. You prepare a table for me under the eyes of my enemies.” (Ps 23, 1.3-5).

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our Spirit...it's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


 Prayer For the Holy Election of Our New Pope

Sadly Pope Benedict XVI has announced his retirement on the Feast Day of our Lady of Lourdes. We must pray together for Pope Benedict XVI retirement and our New Pope, yet to be elected, as well as all of Gods Shepherds.

May the Lord preserve the sanctity of the enclave as they embark on electing our new Holy Father, give him life, and make him blessed upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, in Thy mercy look down upon Thy servant, (Our New Pope), whom Thou will appoint to preside over Thy Church, and grant we beseech Thee that both by word and example he may edify those who are under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may attain life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


February 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children, love is bringing me to you - the love which I desire to teach you also - real love; the love which my Son showed you when He died on the Cross out of love for you; the love which is always ready to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. How great is your love? My motherly heart is sorrowful as it searches for love in your hearts. You are not ready to submit your will to God's will out of love. You cannot help me to have those who have not come to know God's love to come to know it, because you do not have real love. Consecrate your hearts to me and I will lead you. I will teach you to forgive, to love your enemies and to live according to my Son. Do not be afraid for yourselves. In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you. I will implore the Heavenly Father for the light of eternal truth and love to illuminate you. Pray for your shepherds so that through your fasting and prayer they can lead you in love. Thank you."

January 25, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. May your prayer be as strong as a living stone, until with your lives you become witnesses. Witness the beauty of your faith. I am with you and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."


Today's Word:  shrive   shrive  [shrahyv]

Origin: before 900; Middle English shriven, schrifen, Old English scrīfan  to prescribe, cognate with German schreiben  to writeLatin scrībere;  see scribe1
verb (used with object)
1. to impose penance on (a sinner).
2. to grant absolution to (a penitent).
3. to hear the confession of (a person).
verb (used without object) Archaic.
4. to hear confessions.
5. to go to or make confession; confess one's sins, as to a priest.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 8:4-9

4 what are human beings that you spare a thought for them, or the child of Adam that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him little less than a god, you have crowned him with glory and beauty,
6 made him lord of the works of your hands, put all things under his feet,
7 sheep and cattle, all of them, and even the wild beasts,
8 birds in the sky, fish in the sea, when he makes his way across the ocean.
9 Yahweh our Lord, how majestic your name throughout the world!


Today's Epistle -  Genesis 1:20--2:4

20 God said, 'Let the waters be alive with a swarm of living creatures, and let birds wing their way above the earth across the vault of heaven.' And so it was.
21 God created great sea-monsters and all the creatures that glide and teem in the waters in their own species, and winged birds in their own species. God saw that it was good.
22 God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds multiply on land.'
23 Evening came and morning came: the fifth day.
24 God said, 'Let the earth produce every kind of living creature in its own species: cattle, creeping things and wild animals of all kinds.' And so it was.
25 God made wild animals in their own species, and cattle in theirs, and every creature that crawls along the earth in its own species. God saw that it was good.
26 God said, 'Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground.'
27 God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them, saying to them, 'Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth.'
29 God also said, 'Look, to you I give all the seed-bearing plants everywhere on the surface of the earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this will be your food.
30 And to all the wild animals, all the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that creep along the ground, I give all the foliage of the plants as their food.' And so it was.
31 God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: the sixth day.
1 Thus heaven and earth were completed with all their array.
2 On the seventh day God had completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing.
3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he rested after all his work of creating.
4 Such was the story of heaven and earth as they were created. At the time when Yahweh God made earth and heaven


Today's Gospel Reading  - Mark 7:1-13

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, keep the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow; and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them to keep, concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So the Pharisees and scribes asked him, 'Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?'

He answered, 'How rightly Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites in the passage of scripture: This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. Their reverence of me is worthless; the lessons they teach are nothing but human commandments. You put aside the commandment of God to observe human traditions.' And he said to them, 'How ingeniously you get round the commandment of God in order to preserve your own tradition! For Moses said: Honour your father and your mother, and, Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death. But you say, "If a man says to his father or mother: Anything I have that I might have used to help you is Korban (that is, dedicated to God)," then he is forbidden from that moment to do anything for his father or mother. In this way you make God's word ineffective for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down. And you do many other things like this.'


• The Gospel today speaks about the religious traditions of that time and of the Pharisees who taught this tradition to the people. For example, to eat without washing the hands, as they said, to eat with impure hands. Many of these traditions were separated from life and had lost their significance. But even if this was the state of things, these were traditions kept and taught, either because of fear or because of superstition. The Gospel presents some instructions of Jesus concerning these traditions.

• Mark 7, 1-2: Control of the Pharisees and liberty of the disciples. The Pharisees and some Scribes, who had come from Jerusalem, observed how the disciples of Jesus ate the bread with impure hands. Here there are three points which deserve to be made evident: a) The Scribes were from Jerusalem, from the capital city! This means that they had come to observe and to control what Jesus did. b) The disciples do not wash the hands before eating! This means that being with Jesus impels them to have the courage to transgress the norms which tradition imposed on the people, but that no longer had any sense, any meaning for life. c) The fact of washing the hands, which up until now continues to be an important norm of hygiene, had assumed for them a religious significance which served to control and discriminate persons.

• Mark 7, 3-4: The Tradition of the Ancients. “The Tradition of the Ancients” transmitted norms which had to be observed by the people in order to have the purity asked by the Law. The observance of the law was a very serious aspect for the people of that time. They thought that an impure person could not receive the blessings promised by God to Abraham. The norms on purity were taught in order to open the way to God, source of peace. In reality, instead of being a source of peace, the norms constituted a prison, slavery. For the poor, it was practically impossible to observe the hundreds of norms, of traditions and of laws. For this reason they were considered ignorant and damned persons who did not know the law (Jn 7, 49).

• Mark 7, 5: The Scribes and the Pharisees criticize the behaviour of the disciples of Jesus. The Scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus: Why do your disciples not behave according to the tradition of the Ancients and eat the bread with impure hands? They think that they are interested in knowing the reason for the behaviour of the disciples. In reality, they criticize Jesus because he allows the disciples to transgress the norms of purity. The Pharisees formed a type of confraternity, the principal concern of which was to observe all the laws of purity. The Scribes were responsible for the doctrine. They taught the laws relative to the observance of purity.

• Mark 7, 6-13 Jesus criticizes the incoherence of the Pharisees. Jesus answers quoting Isaiah: This people approaches me only in words, honours me only with lip service, while their hearts are far from me (cf. Is 29, 13). Insisting on the norms of purity, the Pharisees emptied the content of the commandments of God’s Law. Jesus quotes a concrete example. They said: the person, who offers his goods to the Temple, cannot use these goods to help those in greater need. Thus, in the name of tradition they emptied the fourth commandment from its content, which commands to love father and mother. These persons seem to be very observant, but they are so only externally. In their heart, they remain far away from God; as the hymn says: “His name is Jesus Christ and is hungry, and lives out on the sidewalk. And people when they pass by, sometimes do not stop, because they are afraid to arrive late to church!” At the time of Jesus, people, in their wisdom, were not in agreement with everything they were taught. They were hoping that one day the Messiah would come to indicate another way to attain purity. In Jesus this hope becomes a reality.

Personal questions

• Do you know any religious tradition today which does not have too much sense, but which continues to be taught?
• The Pharisees were practicing Jews, but their faith was divided, separated from the life of the people. This is why Jesus criticizes them. And today, would Jesus criticize us? In what things?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites, www.ocarm.org.


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day: St Julian

Feast DayFebruary 12

Patron Saint: hotel keepers, travelers, and boatman

Attributes: Carrying a leper through a river; ferryman; hart; holding an oar; man listening to a talking stag; oar; stag; with Jesus and Saint Martha as patrons of travelers; young hunter with a stag; young man killing his parents in bed; young man wearing a fur-lined cloak, sword, and gloves; young, well-dressed man holding a hawk on his finger

Julian the Hospitaller, also known as Julian the Poor, is a Roman Catholic saint. Together with Archangel Saint Raphael and Saint Christopher, he was known as the patron of travellers, as well as of the cities of Ghent and Macerata.

The Paternoster (Our Father prayer) of St. Julian can be found as early as 1353 in Boccaccio's Decameron, and is still passed on by word of mouth throughout some places in Italy.

The account is included the 13th-century Leggenda Aurea of Genoan Giacomo da Varazze, a Dominican priest. Beautiful stained glass depicting St. Julian by an unknown artist in the Cathedral of Chartres also dates back to the 13th century.

Early fresco paintings of him are found in the Cathedral of Trento (14th century) and the Palazzo Comunale di Assisi.

There are three main theories of his origin:
  • Born in Le Mans, France, possibly from confusion with Saint Julian of Le Mans
  • Born in Ath, Belgium around 7 AD (The Belgian flag is sported around the town during, and not only, the two feasts)
  • Born in Naples, Italy
The location of the hospitals built by him is also debated between:
  • On the banks of the River Gardon in Provence
  • On an island near the River Potenza heading to Macerata

Golden Legend

Saint Julian. Taddeo Gaddi, 14th century.
According to de Varazze, the night Julian was born, his father, a man of noble blood, saw pagan witches secretly jinx his son into killing both his parents. His father wanted to get rid of the child, but his mother did not let him do so. As the boy grew into a handsome young man, his mother would regularly fall into tears because of the sin her son was destined to commit. When he finally found out why she would cry at him, he swore he "would never do such a sin" and "with great belief in Christ went off full of courage" as far away as could be from his parents. Versions say it was his mother who told him at the age of 10, while others say it was a stag he met in the forest while hunting (a situation used in depicting St. Julian in statues and pictures). After fifty days of walking he finally reached Galicia where he married a "good woman", said to be a wealthy widow.
Twenty years later, his parents decided to go look for their now thirty-year-old son. When they arrived they visited the altar of St. James, and "as soon as they came out of the church they met a woman sitting on a chair outside, whom the pilgrims greeted and asked, for Jesus' love, whether she would host them for the night as they were tired". She let them in and told them that her husband, Julian, was out hunting. (This is why he is also known as the patron of hunters). The mother and father were overjoyed to have found their son, as did Julian's wife. "She took care of them well and had them rest in the bed of Julian and hers". But the enemy went off seeking Julian and told him: 'I have sour news for you. While you are here, hunting, your wife is in bed embracing another man. There they are right now, still sleeping.'"

de Verazze continues: "And Julian felt deep sadness and his face drew into a frown. He rode back home, went to his bed and found a man and a woman sleeping in it. He drew his sword and killed them both. He was to take off and never set foot on that land, but as he was leaving he saw his wife sitting around the other women. She told him: 'There are your mother and father resting in your room'. And so Julian knew, and fell in rage. 'The shrewd enemy lied to me when he said my wife was betraying me', and while kissing their wounds he uttered 'Better had I never been born, for in soul and body I am cursed.' And his good wife comforted him and said 'Have faith in Christ Almighty, a stream of life and mercy.' They had no children... Gold and silver they had a lot... And after seeking redemption in Rome, Julian built seven hospitals and twenty-five houses. And the poor started flowing to him, to Jesus' Almighty's love."

Quattrino of Macerata depicting Saint Julian
de Verazze continues: "The enemy conspired again to ruin Julian—disguised as a weak pilgrim, he was let in by Julian with the others. At midnight he woke up and made a mess of the house." The following morning Julian saw the damage and swore never to let in anyone else in his home. He was so furious he had everyone leave. "And Jesus went to him, again as a pilgrim, seeking rest. He asked humbly, in the name of God, for shelter. But Julian answered with contempt: 'I shall not let you in. Go away, for the other night I had my home so vandalized that I shall never let you in.' And Christ told him 'Hold me the walking-stick, please'. Julian, embarrassed, went to take the stick, and it stuck to his hands. And Julian recognized him at once and said 'He tricked me the enemy who does not want me to be your faithful servant. But I shall embrace you, I do not care about him; and for your love I shall give shelter to whoever needs.' He knelt and Jesus forgave him, and Julian asked, full of redemption, forgiveness for his wife and parents. Some versions skip the second mistake and tell of an angel visiting Julian announcing him forgiven.

Veneration in Malta

Devotion to St. Julian started in the Maltese Islands in the 15th century after the discovery of his relics in the city of Macerata. It was introduced by the noble family of De Astis, high-ranking in Malta at the time, who had strong connections with the Bishop of Macerata. Three churches were built in his honor before the arrival of the Knights: in Tabija, towards Mdina; in Luqa; and in Senglea (Isla). This last one had a storage room for hunters, and served to popularize this devotion through the sailors arriving at the Three Cities. In the 16th century there existed a hospital, Ospedale di San Giuliano, in the Citadel in Gozo, showing a wide devotion to the saint. Being an order of hospitaliers, the Knights of St. John helped widen further this devotion. In 1539 they rebuilt the church in Senglea and in 1590 built another church in the parish of Birkirkara, a section that since then was called St. Julian's. In 1891 the church was made a parish, the only one ever dedicated to the saint in Malta.

Julian the Hospitaller in literature and music

  • Gustave Flaubert wrote a short story entitled "La légende de Saint-Julien l'Hospitalier", included in his Three Tales.
  • Subject of an opera by Camille Erlanger, La légende de Saint-Julien l'Hospitalier (1888) based on the Flaubert story.
  • Subject of an opera by Riccardo Zandonai, Giuliano (1928) with libretto by Arturo Rossato, based on stories by Jacobus de Voragine and Gustave Flaubert.
  • Walter Wangerin, Jr. wrote a novel, classified as historical fiction, titled "Saint Julian."
  • One of the tales in Giovanni Bocaccio's Decameron is named The miracle of St. Julian, and is about a faithful devoté of St. Julian whose faith is put to test during a travel.
The Life of Saint Julian Hospitaller, (translated by Tony Devaney Morinelli). Earliest text: "La Vie de saint Julien"[1]


          1. ^ Fordham.edu
          2. ^ A Short Walk Through Ashfield's Past. Ashfield History, accessed 23/10/10.


            Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane



            Today's Snippet I:  Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras

            A pancake race
            Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Tuesday and Pancake Day) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is determined by Easter; its date changes annually.

            The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "confess."[1] Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. The term Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.


            The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom for Christians to be "shriven" before the start of Lent.[2]. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of "shrovetide", somewhat analogous to the Carnival tradition that developed separately in countries of Latin Europe. The term "Shrove Tuesday" is no longer widely used in the United States or Canada outside Liturgical Traditions, such as the Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic Churches.[3][4]

            • In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, Shrove Tuesday is also commonly known as "Pancake Day" or "Pancake Tuesday" due to the tradition of eating pancakes on the day.
            • Catholic and Protestant countries (outside those mentioned above) traditionally call the day before Ash Wednesday "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras". The name predated the Reformation and referred to the common Christian tradition of eating special rich foods before the fasting season of Lent.
            • In Ireland the day is known as Máirt Inide (meaning, in Irish, "Shrovetide Tuesday"), and Pancake Tuesday.
            • For German American populations, such as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, it is known as Fastnacht Day (also spelled Fasnacht, Fausnacht, Fauschnaut, or Fosnacht).
            • In Portuguese-, Spanish- and Italian-speaking countries, amongst others, it is known as Carnival (to use the English-language spelling). This derives from the words carne levare (to take away meat) and thus to another aspect of the Lenten fast. It is often celebrated with street processions and/or fancy dress. The most famous of these events is the Brazilian Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, while the Venetians celebrate carnival with a masquerade. The use of the term 'carnival' in other contexts derives from here.
            • On the Portuguese island of Madeira they eat Malasadas on Terça-feira Gorda (Fat Tuesday in English) which is also the last day of the Carnival of Madeira. The reason for making malasadas was to use up all the lard and sugar in the house, in preparation for Lent (much in the same way the tradition of Pancake Day in the UK originated on Shrove Tuesday). Malasadas are sold alongside the Carnival of Madeira. This tradition was taken to Hawaii, where Shrove Tuesday is known as Malasada Day, which dates back to the days of the sugar plantations of the 1800s, the resident Catholic Portuguese (mostly from Madeira and the Azores) workers used up butter and sugar prior to Lent by making large batches of malasadas.
            • In Denmark and Norway the day is known as Fastelavn and is marked by eating fastelavnsboller. Fastelavn is the name for Carnival in Denmark which is either the Sunday or Monday before Ash Wednesday. Fastelavn developed from the Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating in the days before Lent, but after Denmark became a Protestant nation, the holiday became less specifically religious. This holiday occurs seven weeks before Easter Sunday, with children dressing up in costumes and gathering treats for the Fastelavn feast. The holiday is generally considered to be a time for children's fun and family games. (see Carnival in Denmark)
            • In Iceland the day is known as Sprengidagur (Bursting Day) and is marked by eating salted meat and peas.
            • In Lithuania the day is called Užgavėnės. People eat pancakes (blynai) and Lithuanian-style doughnuts called spurgos.
            • In Sweden the day is called Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) and is generally celebrated by eating a type of pastry called semla.
            • In Finland the day is called laskiainen and is generally celebrated by eating green pea soup and a pastry called laskiaispulla (sweet bread filled with whipped cream and jam or almond paste). The celebration often includes sledging.
            • In Estonia the day is called Vastlapäev and is generally celebrated by eating pea soup and whipped-cream filled buns called vastlakukkel.
            • In Poland this celebration falls on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and is called tłusty czwartek or Fat Thursday. In some areas of the United States with large Polish communities, such as Chicago, Buffalo, and the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck, Michigan, Pączki Day is celebrated with pączki-eating contests, music and other Polish food. It may be held on Shrove Tuesday or in the days immediately preceding it.[5] 


            Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: In many cultures, this means no meat, dairy, or eggs.

            In Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand the day is also known as "Pancake Day" as it is a common custom to eat pancakes as a meal.[6][7][8] In the United Kingdom, Pancake Day is also an annual feature on the children's television show Blue Peter.

            In Newfoundland small tokens are frequently cooked in the pancakes. Children take delight in discovering the objects, which are intended to be divinatory. For example, the person who receives a coin will be wealthy; a nail that they will become or marry a carpenter.[9]


            In England, as part of community celebration, many towns held traditional Shrove Tuesday "mob football" games, some dating as far back as the 12th century. The practice mostly died out in the 19th century after the passing of the Highway Act 1835 which banned playing football on public highways. A number of towns have maintained the tradition, including Alnwick in Northumberland, Ashbourne in Derbyshire (called the Royal Shrovetide Football Match), Atherstone (called the Ball Game) in Warwickshire, Sedgefield (called the Ball Game) in County Durham, and St Columb Major (called Hurling the Silver Ball) in Cornwall.

            Shrove Tuesday was once known as a "half-holiday" in England. It started at 11:00am with the ringing of a church bell.[10] On Pancake Day, "pancake races" are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. The tradition is said to have originated when a housewife from Olney was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake.[11] The pancake race remains a relatively common festive tradition in the UK, especially England, even today. Participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan whilst running.

            The most famous pancake race,[12] at Olney in Buckinghamshire, has been held since 1445. The contestants, traditionally women, carry a frying pan and race to over a 415 yard course to the finishing line. The rules are strict: contestants have to toss their pancake at both the start and the finish, as well as wear an apron and a scarf. Traditionally, when men want to participate, they must dress up as a housewife (usually an apron and a bandanna). The race is followed by a church service.[11]

            Since 1950 the people of Liberal, Kansas, and Olney have held the "International Pancake Day" race between the two towns. The two towns' competitors race along an agreed-upon measured course. The times of the two towns' competitors are compared to determine a winner overall. After the 2009 race, Liberal was leading with 34 wins to Olney's 25.[13] A similar race is held in North Somercotes of Lincolnshire in eastern England.

            Scarborough celebrates by closing the foreshore to all traffic, closing schools early, and inviting all to skip. Traditionally, long ropes were used from the nearby harbour. The town crier rings the pancake bell, situated on the corner of Westborough (Main Street) and Huntress Row.

            The children of the hamlet of Whitechapel, Lancashire keep alive a local tradition by visiting local households and asking "please a pancake", to be rewarded with oranges or sweets. It is thought the tradition arose when farm workers visited the wealthier farm and manor owners to ask for pancakes or pancake fillings.[14]

            In Finland and Sweden the day is associated with the almond paste-filled semla pastry. Pancakes are traditional in Christian festivals in Ukraine and Russia also at this time of year (Maslenitsa).

            "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season",[1][2][3][4][5] in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. 
            The day is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning "confess."[6] Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent.


            Popular practices include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, etc. Similar expressions to Mardi Gras appear in other European languages sharing the Christian tradition, as it is associated with the religious requirement for confession before Lent begins.

            In many areas, the term "Mardi Gras" has come to mean the whole period of activity related to the celebratory events, beyond just the single day. In some US cities, it is now called "Mardi Gras Day" or "Fat Tuesday".[1][2][3][4][5] The festival season varies from city to city, as some traditions consider Mardi Gras the entire period between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday.[7] Others treat the final three-day period before Ash Wednesday as the Mardi Gras.[8] In Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras-associated social events begin in November, followed by mystic society balls on Thanksgiving,[7][9] then New Year's Eve, followed by parades and balls in January and February, celebrating up to midnight before Ash Wednesday. In earlier times parades were held on New Year's Day.[7] Other cities famous for Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Barranquilla, Colombia; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Quebec City, Canada; Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico; and New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

            Carnival is an important celebration in Anglican and Catholic European nations.[6] In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the week before Ash Wednesday is called "shrovetide", ending on Shrove Tuesday. It has its popular celebratory aspects as well. Pancakes are a traditional food. Pancakes and related fried breads or pastries made with sugar, fat and eggs are also traditionally consumed at this time in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.


            In the Belgian city of Binche the Mardi Gras festival is the most important day of the year and the summit of the Carnival of Binche. Around 1000 Gilles dance throughout the city from morning until past dusk, whilst traditional carnival songs play. In 2003, the "Carnival of Binche" was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.


            Carnaval is the most famous Brazilian holiday. During this time period Brazil attracts 70% of its tourists. Variations in carnaval celebrations are observed throughout the multitude of Brazilian cities. Yet, a commonality observed among them is the incorporation of samba into the celebrations. The southeastern cities of Brazil have massive parades that take place in large sambadromes. The largest carnaval celebration in Brazil and the world occurs in Rio de Janeiro, where two million people are found celebrating in the city. The city of Salvador also holds a large carnaval celebration.


            The celebration of Mardi Gras in Germany is called Karneval, Fastnacht, or Fasching, depending on the region.[10] Fastnacht means "Eve of the Fast", but all three terms cover the whole carnival season with famous parades held in Cologne, Mainz, and Düsseldorf on the Monday before Ash Wednesday, called Rosenmontag (Rose Monday).  In the regions where Fastnacht is celebrated, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is called "Schmotziger Dunnschtig" (Schmotziger Dienstag) which is a staight translation from Mardi Gras (Greasy, fatty Tuesday).


            In Italy Mardi Gras is called Martedí Grasso (Fat Tuesday). It's the main day of Carnival along with the Thursday before, called Giovedí Grasso (Fat Thursday), which ratifies the start of the celebrations. The most famous Carnivals in Italy are in Venice and in Viareggio. Italy is the birthplace of Carnival celebrations, having its origins in the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia. The Italian version of the festival is spelled Carnevale.[11]


            The Netherlands also has a festival similar to Mardi Gras. It's called Carnaval and is similar to the Venice Carnival. The origin of the word Carnaval is 'Carne Vale' which means Goodbye to the meat in Latin. It marks the beginning of the sacred period that leads to Easter. The real festival is held in the southern part of the Netherlands in the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg, and in eastern parts of Twente and Groningen.


            In Sweden the celebration is called Fettisdagen. It comes from the word "fett" (fat) and "tisdag" (Tuesday). Originally, this was the only day one should eat semlor.[12] These are now sold in most grocery stores and bakeries preceding the holiday, and up until Easter.

            United States

            While not observed nationally throughout the United States, a number of traditionally ethnic French cities and regions in the country have notable celebrations. Mardi Gras arrived in North America as a French Catholic tradition with the Le Moyne brothers,[13] Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV sent the pair to defend France's claim on the territory of Louisiane, which included what are now the U.S. states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.[13]

            The expedition, led by Iberville, entered the mouth of the Mississippi River on the evening of March 2, 1699, Lundi Gras. They did not yet know it was the river explored and claimed for France by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1683. The party proceeded upstream to a place on the west bank about 60 miles downriver from where New Orleans is today, and made camp. This was on March 3, 1699, Mardi Gras, so in honor of this holiday, Iberville named the spot Point du Mardi Gras (French: "Mardi Gras Point") and called the nearby tributary Bayou Mardi Gras. Bienville went on to found the settlement of Mobile, Alabama in 1702 as the first capital of French Louisiana.[14] In 1703 French settlers in Mobile established the first organized Mardi Gras celebration tradition in what was to become the United States.[15][13][16][17] The first informal mystic society, or krewe, was formed in Mobile in 1711, the Boeuf Gras Society.[15] By 1720, Biloxi had been made capital of Louisiana. The French Mardi Gras customs had accompanied the colonists who settled there.[13]

            In 1723, the capital of Louisiana was moved to New Orleans, founded in 1718.[14] Mobile's Cowbellion de Rakin Society was the first formally organized and masked mystic society in the United States to celebrate with a parade in 1830.[15] The idea of mystic societies was exported to New Orleans in 1856 when six businessmen, three who were formerly of Mobile, gathered at a club room in New Orlean's French Quarter to organize a secret society, inspired by the Cowbellion de Rakin Society, that would observe Mardi Gras with a formal parade. They founded New Orleans' first and oldest krewe, the Mistick Krewe of Comus.[18] The tradition in New Orleans expanded to the point that it became synonymous with the city in popular perception, and embraced by residents of New Orleans beyond those of French or Catholic heritage. Mardi Gras celebrations are part of the basis of the slogan, Laissez les bons temps rouler, (Let the good times roll) and the nickname "Big Easy".[13] Other cities along the Gulf Coast with early French colonial heritage, from Pensacola, Florida to Lafayette, Louisiana, have active Mardi Gras celebrations. In the rural Acadiana area, many Cajuns celebrate with the Courir de Mardi Gras, a tradition that dates to medieval celebrations in France.[19]

            In the last decade of the 20th century, the rise in producing commercial videotapes catering to voyeurs helped encourage a tradition of women baring breasts in exchange for beads and trinkets.[20]


            Shrove Tuesday

            1. ^ Melitta Weiss Adamson, Francine Segan (2008). Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl. ABC-CLIO. "In Anglican countries, Mardis Gras is known as Shrove Tuesday-from shrive meaning "confess"-or Pancake Day"-after the breakfast food that symbolizes one final hearty meal of eggs, butter, and sugar before the fast. On Ash Wednesday, the morning after Mardi Gras, repentant Christians return to church to receive upon the forehead the sign of the cross in ashes."
            2. ^ Thurston, Herbert. "Shrovetide." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 6 Jan. 2013
            3. ^ Walker, -Sue (2002). "Mardi Gras". St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
            4. ^ "National Celebrations: Holidays in the United States". U.S. State Department. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
            5. ^ http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/local/paczski-day-celebrated-by-wny-polish
            6. ^ "Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day!". Irish Culture and Customs. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
            7. ^ "Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) in the UK". British Embassy, Washington DC. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
            8. ^ "Easter in Australia". The Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
            9. ^ "Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage". Retrieved 8 March 2011.
            10. ^ Cooks Guide
            11. ^ "The origin of pancake racing", BBC
            12. ^ 2007 Pancake Race Video
            13. ^ "Liberal wins 60th Int'l Pancake race". United Press International (UPI). Retrieved 30 April 2011.
            14. ^ (7 February 2008), "Pancake traditions in village", Longridge News, accessed 2010-06-16
            15. ^ Mardi Gras Dates

              Mardi Gras

              1. ^ In London, Mardi Gras season: "Paul's Pastry Shop kneads a ton of dough in Picayune", Allbusiness.com, 2008, webpage: Allbusiness-35.
              2. ^ In New Orleans, Mardi Gras season: "Mardi Gras in New Orleans | Metro.co.uk", Metro.co.uk, 2009, webpage: Metro.co.uk-2315.
              3. ^ In Mobile, Mardi Gras season: "New Orleans has competition for Mardi Gras", USATODAY.com, February 2006, webpage: USATODAY-com-mardi.
              4. ^ In San Diego, Mardi Gras season: "sandiego.com - Mardi Gras in San Diego: FAQ's", SanDiego.com, 2008, webpage: SanDiego.com-SD.
              5. ^ In Texas, Mardi Gras season: "Let’s Celebrate: Mardi Gras 2008", Southernbyways.com, January 2008, webpage: southernbyways-com-TX.
              6. ^ Melitta Weiss Adamson, Francine Segan (2008). Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl. ABC-CLIO. "In Anglican countries, Mardis Gras is known as Shrove Tuesday-from shrive meaning "confess"-or Pancake Day"-after the breakfast food that symbolizes one final hearty meal of eggs, butter, and sugar before the fast. On Ash Wednesday, the morning after Mardi Gras, repentant Christians return to church to receive upon the forehead the sign of the cross in ashes."
              7. ^"Mardi Gras Terminology". "Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau". Retrieved November 18, 2007.
              8. ^ "The Season of Lent". Crivoice.org. January 7, 2010. Retrieved October 16
              9. ^ "Mobile Carnival Association, 1927", MardiGrasDigest.com, 2006, webpage: mardigrasdigest-Mobile.
              10. ^ [1]
              11. ^ "History of Carnival". All Ah We. Retrieved 3 Oct 2012.
              12. ^ "wedish semla: more than just a bun". Sweden.se. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
              13. "New Orleans & Mardi Gras History Timelin " (event list), Mardi Gras Digest, 2005, webpage: MG-time.
              14. "Timeline 18th Century:" (events), Timelines of History, 2007, webpage: TLine-1700-1724: on "1702-1711" of Mobile.
              15. "Carnival/Mobile Mardi Gras Timeline". Museum of Mobile. Museum of Mobile. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
              16. ^ "Mardi Gras in Mobile" (history), Jeff Sessions, Senator, Library of Congress, 2006, webpage: LibCongress-2665.
              17. ^ "Mardi Gras" (history), Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2007, webpage: MGmobile.
              18. ^ Arthur B. LaCour, New Orleans Masquerade: Chronicles of Carnival (Pelican Publishing 1952)
              19. ^ "Mardi Gras in Rural Acadiana". Retrieved February 18, 2010.
              20. ^ Shrum, W. and J. Kilburn. "Ritual Disrobement at Mardi Gras: Ceremonial Exchange and Moral Order". Social Forces, Vol. 75, No. 2. (Dec., 1996), pp. 423-458.


              Today's Snippet II:  New Orleans Mardi Gras

              Mardi Gras (French pronunciation: ​[maʁ.di ɡʁa]; English pronunciation: /ˈmɑɹdi ˈgɹɑː/; meaning "Fat Tuesday") is an annual Carnival celebration held in Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

              The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany (January 6). It is a season of parades, balls (some of them masquerade balls), and king cake parties. It has traditionally been part of the winter social season; at one time "coming out" parties for young women at débutante balls were timed for this season.

              Celebrations are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French), the day before Ash Wednesday. Usually there is one major parade each day (weather permitting); many days have several large parades. The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the season. In the final week of Carnival, many events large and small occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities. Neighboring Jefferson Parish holds an event called Family Gras which is more appropriate for families with children, or people that wish to avoid the more adult celebration in the French Quarter.

              The parades in New Orleans are organized by Carnival krewes. Krewe float riders toss throws to the crowds; the most common throws are strings of plastic colorful beads, doubloons (aluminum or wooden dollar-sized coins usually impressed with a krewe logo), decorated plastic throw cups, and small inexpensive toys. Major krewes follow the same parade schedule and route each year.

              While many tourists center their Mardi Gras season activities on Bourbon Street and the French Quarter, none of the major Mardi Gras parades has entered the Quarter since 1972 because of its narrow streets and overhead obstructions. Instead, major parades originate in the Uptown and Mid-City districts and follow a route along St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street, on the upriver side of the French Quarter. Exposing body parts, or "flashing",in an effort to catch more beads or throws, is frowned up by the police department and can be grounds for a ticket or an arrest. However, it is a growing trend for uninhibited, mostly younger women to show their breasts, centered in New Orleans and echoed in smaller celebrations in such places as Austin, Texas.

              To New Orleanians, "Mardi Gras" specifically refers to the Tuesday before lent, the highlight of the season. The term can also be used less specifically the whole Carnival season, sometimes as "the Mardi Gras season". The term "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras Day" always refers only to that specific day.


              Arrival of Rex, monarch of Mardi Gras, as seen on an early 20th century postcard
              The celebration of Mardi Gras was brought to Louisiana by early French settlers. The first record of the holiday being celebrated in Louisiana was at the mouth of the Mississippi River in what is now lower Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, on March 3, 1699. Iberville, Bienville, and their men celebrated it as part of an observance of Catholic practice.

              The starting date of festivities in New Orleans is unknown. An account from 1743 notes that the custom of Carnival balls was already established. Processions and wearing of masks in the streets on Mardi Gras took place. They were sometimes prohibited by law, and were quickly renewed whenever such restrictions were lifted or enforcement waned. In 1833 Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville, a rich plantation owner of French descent, raised money to fund an official Mardi Gras celebration.

              James R. Creecy in his book Scenes in the South, and Other Miscellaneous Pieces describes New Orleans Mardi Gras in 1835:[1]
              Shrove Tuesday is a day to be remembered by strangers in New Orleans, for that is the day for fun, frolic, and comic masquerading. All of the mischief of the city is alive and wide awake in active operation. Men and boys, women and girls, bond and free, white and black, yellow and brown, exert themselves to invent and appear in grotesque, quizzical, diabolic, horrible, strange masks, and disguises. Human bodies are seen with heads of beasts and birds, beasts and birds with human heads; demi-beasts, demi-fishes, snakes' heads and bodies with arms of apes; man-bats from the moon; mermaids; satyrs, beggars, monks, and robbers parade and march on foot, on horseback, in wagons, carts, coaches, cars, &c., in rich confusion, up and down the streets, wildly shouting, singing, laughing, drumming, fiddling, fifeing, and all throwing flour broadcast as they wend their reckless way.
              On Mardi Gras of 1857, the Mystick Krewe of Comus held its first parade. Comus is the oldest continuously active Mardi Gras organization. It started a number of continuing traditions. It is considered the first Carnival krewe in the modern sense. According to one historian, "Comus was aggressively English in its celebration of what New Orleans had always considered a French festival. It is hard to think of a clearer assertion than this parade that the lead in the holiday had passed from French-speakers to Anglo-Americans. 

              . . .To a certain extent, Americans 'Americanized' New Orleans and its Creoles. To a certain extent, New Orleans 'creolized' the Americans. Thus the wonder of Anglo-Americans boasting of how their business prowess helped them construct a more elaborate version of the old Creole Carnival. The lead in organized Carnival passed from Creole to American just as political and economic power did over the course of the nineteenth century. The spectacle of Creole-American Carnival, with Americans using Carnival forms to compete with Creoles in the ballrooms and on the streets, represents the creation of a New Orleans culture neither entirely Creole nor entirely American."

              Rex in procession down Canal Street; postcard from around 1900
              In 1875 Louisiana declared Mardi Gras a legal state holiday. War, economic, political, and weather conditions sometimes led to cancellation of some or all major parades, especially during the American Civil War, World War I and World War II, but the city has always celebrated Carnival.

              1972 was the last year in which large parades went through the narrow streets of the city's French Quarter section; larger floats, crowds, and fire safety concerns led the city government to prohibit parades in the Quarter. Major parades now skirt the French Quarter along Canal Street.

              In 1979 the New Orleans police department went on strike. The official parades were canceled or moved to surrounding communities, such as Jefferson Parish. Significantly fewer tourists than usual came to the city. Masking, costuming, and celebrations continued anyway, with National Guard troops maintaining order. Guardsmen prevented crimes against persons or property but made no attempt to enforce laws regulating morality or drug use; for these reasons, some in the French Quarter bohemian community recall 1979 as the city's best Mardi Gras ever.

              In 1991 the New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance that required social organizations, including Mardi Gras Krewes, to certify publicly that they did not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, to obtain parade permits and other public licenses. In effect, the ordinance required these, and other, private social groups to abandon their traditional code of secrecy and identify their members for the city's Human Relations Commission. In protest, the 19th-century krewes Comus and Momus stopped parading. Proteus did parade in the 1992 Carnival season but also suspended its parade for a time, returning to the parade schedule in 2000.

              Two federal courts later declared that the ordinance was an unconstitutional infringement on First Amendment rights of free association, and an unwarranted intrusion on the privacy of the groups subject to the ordinance. The US Supreme Court refused to hear the city's appeal from this decision.

              Today, many krewes operate under a business structure; membership is open to anyone who pays dues, and any member can have a place on a parade float. In contrast, the old-line krewes (most are exclusively male) were social groups that reinforced class and economics to create exclusive groups. Membership in the most private of these groups is offered only after the group has already decided that the individual qualifies to join the Krewe. They used the structure of the parades and balls to extend the traditions in their social circles of the debutante season.

              The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in late 2005 caused a few people to question the future of the city's Mardi Gras celebrations. Mayor Nagin, who was up for reelection in early 2006, tried to play this sentiment for electoral advantage. However, the economics of Carnival were, and are, too important to the city's revival.

              The city government, essentially bankrupt after Hurricane Katrina, pushed for a scaled back celebration to limit strains on city services. However, many krewes insisted that they wanted to and would be ready to parade, so negotiations between krewe leaders and city officials resulted in a compromise schedule. It was scaled back but less severely than originally suggested.

              The 2006 New Orleans Carnival schedule included the Krewe du Vieux on its traditional route through Marigny and the French Quarter on February 11, the Saturday two weekends before Mardi Gras. There were several parades on Saturday, February 18, and Sunday the 19th a week before Mardi Gras. Parades followed daily from Thursday night through Mardi Gras Day. Other than Krewe du Vieux and two Westbank parades going through Algiers, all New Orleans parades were restricted to the Saint Charles Avenue Uptown to Canal Street route, a section of the city which escaped significant flooding. Some krewes unsuccessfully pushed to parade on their traditional Mid-City route, despite the severe flood damage suffered by that neighborhood.

              The city restricted how long parades could be on the street and how late at night they could end. National Guard troops assisted with crowd control for the first time since 1979. Louisiana State troopers also assisted, as they have many times in the past. Many floats had been partially submerged in floodwaters for weeks. While some krewes repaired and removed all traces of these effects, others incorporated flood lines and other damage into the designs of the floats.

              Most of the locals who worked on the floats and rode on them were significantly affected by the storm's aftermath. Many had lost most or all of their possessions, but enthusiasm for Carnival was even more intense as an affirmation of life. The themes of many costumes and floats had more barbed satire than usual, with commentary on the trials and tribulations of living in the devastated city. References included MREs, Katrina refrigerators and FEMA trailers, along with much mocking of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local and national politicians.

              By the 2009 season, the Endymion parade had returned to the Mid-City route, and other Krewes expanding their parades Uptown.

              Traditional colors

              Meaning of Colors
                   Justice (purple)
                   Power (gold)
                   Faith (green)
              Mardi Gras flag

              The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. These colors are said to have been chosen by Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia during a visit to New Orleans in 1872. This doctrine was reaffirmed in 1892, when the Rex Parade theme "Symbolism of Colors" gave the colors their meanings.

              In his book "Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival: Comus to Zulu," Errol Laborde shows the above mentioned meanings of the Mardi Gras colors to be false. He gives a much simpler origin, having to do primarily with looking good.

              Contemporary Mardi Gras

              Each year the Mardi Gras (or Carnival) season starts on January 6, also known as Twelfth Night. The Twelfth Night Revelers, one of Carnival's oldest Krewes, holds a masked ball each year to mark the occasion. Many of Carnival's oldest groups such as the Elves of Oberon and the High Priests of Mithras hold masked balls, but do not parade in public.

              The parade season starts off some three weekends before Mardi Gras Day with the Krewe du Vieux parade. There is usually at least one parade every night starting two Fridays before Mardi Gras.

              Weekend before Mardi Gras

              The population of New Orleans more than doubles with visitors this day. Thursday night starts off with a bang with an all-women's parade featuring the Krewe of Muses. The parade is relatively new, but its membership has tripled since its start in 2001. It is popular for its throws (highly sought after decorated shoes and other trinkets) and themes poking fun at politicians and celebrities. Friday night is the occasion of the large Krewe of Hermes and satirical Krewe D'État parades, ending with one of the fastest growing krewes, the Krewe of Morpheus There are several smaller neighborhood parades like the Krewe of Barkus and the Krewe of OAK. Several daytime parades roll on Saturday (including Krewe of Tucks) and Sunday (Okeanos and Thoth). The first of the "super krewes", Endymion, parades on Saturday night, with the celebrity-led Bacchus parade on Sunday night.

              Lundi Gras

              Monday is known as Lundi Gras ("Fat Monday"). The monarchs of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club and Krewe of Rex, who will parade the following day, arrive by boat on the Mississippi River front at the foot of Canal Street, where an all-day party is staged. Uptown parades start with the parade of one of New Orleans' most prestigious organizations, the Krewe of Proteus. Dating back to 1882, it is the second oldest krewe still parading in the city. The Proteus parade is followed by a newer organization, the music-themed super-Krewe of Orpheus, which is considered less prestigious as it draws a significant portion of its membership from outside the City.

              Mardi Gras Day

              Celebrations begin early on Mardi Gras Day, which can fall on any Tuesday between February 3 and March 9 (depending on the date of Easter).[ Uptown, the Zulu parade rolls first, followed by the Rex parade, which both end on Canal Street. A number of smaller parading organizations with "truck floats" follow the Rex parade.

              Numerous smaller parades and walking clubs also parade around the city. The Jefferson City Buzzards, the Lyons Club, the Irish Channel Corner Club, Pete Fountain's Half Fast Walking Club and the KOE all start early in the day Uptown and make their way to the French Quarter with at least one jazz band. At the other end of the old city, the Society of Saint Anne journeys from the Bywater through Marigny and the French Quarter to meet Rex on Canal Street. The Pair-O-Dice Tumblers rambles from bar to bar in Marigny and the French Quarter from noon to dusk. Various groups of Mardi Gras Indians, divided into uptown and downtown tribes, parade in their finery.

              End of each Mardi Gras

              The formal end of Mardi Gras arrives with "the Meeting of the Courts", a term describing the ceremony at which Rex and His Royal Consort, the King and Queen of Carnival, meet with Comus and his Queen at the ball of the Mistick Krewe of Comus, New Orleans' oldest active Carnival organization. The Meeting of the Courts happens at the conclusion of the two groups' masked balls, which in modern times have both been held at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium. Since 2006, following Hurricane Katrina, the Ball has been held in the Marriott Hotel.

              Promptly at the stroke of midnight at the end of Fat Tuesday, a mounted squad of New Orleans police officers make a show of clearing upper Bourbon Street where the bulk of out-of-town revelers congregate, announcing that Mardi Gras is over, as it is the start of Lent, commencing with Ash Wednesday.

              Ash Wednesday (the day after Fat Tuesday) is sometimes jokingly referred to as "Trash Wednesday" because of the amount of refuse left in the streets by the previous day's celebrations. The tons of garbage picked up by the city sanitation department is a local news item, as it also reflects the positive economic impact of tourists at each year's celebration of Mardi Gras.


              Shrove Tuesday is exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, a moveable feast based on the cycles of the moon. The date can be 3 February or 9 March or anything between.

              Shrove Tuesday will occur on these dates in coming years:
              • 2013 — 12 February
              • 2014 — 4 March
              • 2015 — 17 February
              • 2016 — 9 February
              • 2017 — 28 February
              • 2018 — 13 February
              • 2019 — 5 March
              • 2020 — 25 February
              • 2021 — 16 February
              • 2022 — 1 March
              • 2023 — 21 February
              • 2024 — 13 February
              • 2025 — 4 March
              • 2026 — 17 February
              • 2027 — 9 February
              • 2028 — 29 February
              • 2029 — 13 February
              • 2030 — 5 March
              • 2031 — 25 February
              • 2032 — 10 February
              • 2033 — 1 March


                  Catechism of the Catholic Church

                  Part One: Profession of Faith, Sect 2 The Creeds, Ch 2 Art 2:3

                  CHAPTER TWO

                  ARTICLE 2

                  III. The Only Son of God

                  441 In the Old Testament, "son of God" is a title given to the angels, the Chosen People, the children of Israel, and their kings.Dt 14:1; (LXX) 32:8; Job 1:6; Ex 4:22; Hos 2:1; 11:1; Jer 3:19; Sir 36:11; Wis 18:13; 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 82:6. It signifies an adoptive sonship that establishes a relationship of particular intimacy between God and his creature. When the promised Messiah-King is called "son of God", it does not necessarily imply that he was more than human, according to the literal meaning of these texts. Those who called Jesus "son of God", as the Messiah of Israel, perhaps meant nothing more than this.I Chr 17:13; Ps 2:7; Mt 27:54; Lk 23:47

                  442 Such is not the case for Simon Peter when he confesses Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God", for Jesus responds solemnly: "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."Mt 16:16-17 Similarly Paul will write, regarding his conversion on the road to Damascus, "When he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles..."Gal 1:15-16 "and in the synagogues immediately [Paul] proclaimed Jesus, saying, 'He is the Son of God.'"Acts 9:20 From the beginning this acknowledgment of Christ's divine sonship will be the centre of the apostolic faith, first professed by Peter as the Church's foundation.I Th 1:10; Jn 20:31; Mt 16:18

                  443 Peter could recognize the transcendent character of the Messiah's divine sonship because Jesus had clearly allowed it to be so understood. To his accusers' question before the Sanhedrin, "Are you the Son of God, then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am."Lk 22:70; cf. Mt 26:64; Mk 14:61-62 Well before this, Jesus referred to himself as "the Son" who knows the Father, as distinct from the "servants" God had earlier sent to his people; he is superior even to the angels.Mt 11:27; 21:34-38; 24:36 He distinguished his sonship from that of his disciples by never saying "our Father", except to command them: "You, then, pray like this: 'Our Father'", and he emphasized this distinction, saying "my Father and your Father".Mt 5:48; 6:8-9; 7:21; Lk 11:13; Jn 20:17

                  444 The Gospels report that at two solemn moments, the Baptism and the Transfiguration of Christ, the voice of the Father designates Jesus his "beloved Son".Mt 3:17; cf. 17:5 Jesus calls himself the "only Son of God", and by this title affirms his eternal pre-existence.Jn 3:16; cf. 10:36 He asks for faith in "the name of the only Son of God".Jn 3:18 In the centurion's exclamation before the crucified Christ, "Truly this man was the Son of God",Mk 15:39 that Christian confession is already heard. Only in the Paschal mystery can the believer give the title "Son of God" its full meaning.

                  445 After his Resurrection, Jesus' divine sonship becomes manifest in the power of his glorified humanity. He was "designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead".Rom 1:3; cf. Acts 13:33 The apostles can confess: "We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."Jn 1:14