My Mardi Gras in France

As many of you may have worried that I didn’t get to celebrate Mardi Gras, something really big in Louisiana, I thought I’d tell you all how I celebrated the holiday.

Well even though Mardi Gras originated from a French celebration, the two approaches to the day are totally different. In France basically they eat crêpes and kids wear homemade or rented Halloween costumes. Most of them celebrate not actually knowing WHY they do so( I’m getting this from a French daytime TV show called CCVB)

Well being from Louisiana I’ve got my own way that I’ve grown accustomed to in celebrating this holiday. For anyone from the larger part of the United States: I celebrate Mardi Gras in the traditional way that has nothing to do with floats or beads or plastic masks (so not in the New Orleans way).

So as anyone from Louisiana knows Mardi Gras starts with your costume and having made one from scratch just last year I was sort of asking myself why I was doing this again. But I did something different this year following in Sarah Savoy’s footsteps I took an old dress and made a more girlie costume. Well of course I waited till the day that I had to wear it to make it because that seems to also be part of the tradition: procrastination. I went to the fabric stores and bought 1/2 yards of three different colors. By doing this I got quite a few looks and one of the sales guys asked me what in the world I was going to even be able to do with that fabric and I simply answered fringe which just inspired more funny looks. Then I went to buy bells and SHOCKER 1.20 for EACH bell. WHOA at hobby lobby you can buy ten for that price. I felt like I had had the wind kicked out of me! But Sarah had the BRILIANT idea to take belly dancing scarves and cut the little jangling coins off in place of bells. Not only are they a wonderful, shiny, and loud accessories but they also pull on the “donne-moi cinqu sous” part of traditional Mardi Gras: the begging. So in one day this was the result:

mmmm… the smell of a glue gun. It MUST be Mardi Gras

Not too Shabby.

Then for a “mask” since I hadn’t brought one from home so I just painted one onto my face with eyeshadow. Though everyone made a racoon joke you can clearly see at the top I even painted the twists of the mask. Plus it was purple outlined in silver. I was very proud. Then I completed the look with the rest of my belly dancing scarf for a bit of an Esmerelda look.

Yeah I rode through the métro like this.

On top of that I had made a King Cake. No not traditional but fun all the same. But because my apartment is too cold my bread didn’t rise and then my over is too small so I had to cook the cake in 1/2. Then the icing wouldn’t set so I put it in the fridge thus resulting in a flat, hard, runny cake. I was a disaster. BUT the taste was really good and people inhaled it.

These colors DO run

The ugly but yummy ending result. My friend called it the Jackson Pollock cake.

All of this was for the saturday before Mardi Gras and Sarah and her group played a Mardi Gras concert. She and the band were all in their costumes and the dancers and participants were all in the Green Yellow and Gold of New Orleans. It was a really great time and I could tell that everyone fully enjoyed themselves.

The Day of Mardi Gras Sarah made a Gumbo and a BEAUTIFUL King Cake from which I pulled the baby (or the penny really). Our friend David, who has been perfecting cajun boudin, hit the spot with this batch. Sarah and I could not contain ourselves it was AMAZING. We had a wonderful time among friends and Sarah and I talked about what we and everyone we know usually give up for Lent. It was a great night.

Sarah’s cake. That is what it SHOULD look like!

The calmest Mardi Gras I’ve ever spent but I was close to friends who appreciated the day just as much as me and that was great.

But next year I’m coming home for the run!

Me running last year in Eunice.

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About Emilie

I'm a small girl with big ambitions and very little common sense it seems. I decided after I graduated from college that I would move from my little city of Lafayette Louisiana to the raging monster city that is Paris. In 4 months of planning I have now uprooted everything I had in an amazing town to live in a truly wild place where I have no idea WHAT I am going to do. But isn't that the fun of it all. So here is cheers to getting lost, breaking hearts, starving, and many wonderful adventures that come along with finding yourself.
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