Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pic Today 2/16/10

Have a FAT TUESDAY ! ! !

Today is Mardi Gras of course . . . translated from French is literally "Fat Tuesday."   However, it holds much greater meaning, both as a religious observance and a cultural phenomenon.   For the Christian faith, it is the last celebration before the beginning of Lent,  before the sacrifices ushered in by Ash Wednesday (leading up to the celebration of Easter.)   Fat Tuesday then is a last chance to enjoy the soon-to-be-forbidden treats (sweets, soda, alcohol, smoking, etc.)   It's why Mardi Gras is always wild & crazy, and "anything goes" . . . especially in New Orleans.

Traditional Mardi Gras foods include the King Cake, named for the 3 kings (or the 3 wise men), from the biblical story of Christ's birth.   Part of the tradition of the King Cake involves baking (or inserting) a small plastic baby inside to represent the baby Jesus.   Whoever finds the toy (or chokes to death!) is supposed to enjoy good luck and blessings for the coming year.

Another Mardi Gras food is Pacski, or Polish donuts, originally designed to use up lard, fruit and sugar . . . substances forbidden during the fasting of Lent.   Pacski has become increasingly popular in the U.S. over the years.   These fried treats certainly put the "fat" in Fat Tuesday.

One more day to decide what you're giving up for Lent . . . .

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