It’s Carnival Time . . .Posted: January 29, 2013
. . . and everybody’s havin’ fun! If you don’t live in South Louisiana, that line may not ring a bell for you. It’s from a popular Mardi Gras tune called Carnival Time. (You can click here to enjoy a performance of Carnival Time by the great Al Johnson.) Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” and, technically, it’s the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. But where I live, Mardi Gras is one big non-stop party that begins on the evening of Epiphany (January 6) and lasts until midnight on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It’s when humans “pass a good time” (that’s South Louisiana speak for “have fun”). They eat what they want; they drink what they want; they act however they want . . . basically they behave like dogs who have not had any obedience training. All of that revelry is in preparation for Lent, when they have to straighten up and start behaving.
Decorations are a big part of Mardi Gras. When most of the world is packing away Christmas decorations and preparing for the bleakest, dullest part of winter, humans in South Louisiana are decorating for Mardi Gras. My human mommy loves to decorate for carnival season. This year, she even decorated me with some of the biggest, gaudiest beads she could find. You see, beads are very important to humans during Mardi Gras. Humans will do anything–and I do mean anything–to get these tacky beads that they could go to the store and buy for pennies. Then, after Mardi Gras when they have pounds and pounds and pounds of those beads that they just had to have, they can’t figure out what to do with the silly things. Sometimes humans are just plain crazy.
This year’s Mardi Gras decorations even include a lovely “chandelier” above my outside water bowl. At first, I was a little freaked out by it, but now I think it’s kind of nice. Uh oh . . . looks like my mommy’s love of Mardi Gras decorations is wearing off on me. Humans are very kind to remember that dogs also like to “pass a good time” during carnival season. They plan pet parades for us. They dress us up in all kinds of costumes, and then march us up and down streets so other dogs and humans can look at us. The pet parades are lots and lots of fun, and a little more tame than some of the human festivities.
I think my favorite Mardi Gras decoration is my friend Blitzen. During Christmas, he’s Blitzen the Christmas Reindeer in my back yard. But for carnival season, he becomes Blitzen aka Mr. Mardi Gras. He has a mask and a fancy bow, and he wears Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors–purple, gold, and green. I think he’s stunning. Uh oh . . . there’s my mommy wearing off on me again. This year, Mardi Gras falls on February 12. That’s a little early, which doesn’t make the humans too happy. Naturally, they would like for the revelry to go on for as long as possible. But, until then, I hope that wherever you are you manage to “pass a good time” because it’s carnival time, and everybody’s havin’ fun. Happy Mardi Gras!