Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a traditional celebration of Christian beliefs and the baby Jesus. On Mardi Gras, participants binge on fatty foods before fasting on the next day, also known as Ash Wednesday, during the Catholic season of Lent. To celebrate the holiday, French classes tasted foods that are normally eaten during the holiday.
“We had whipped cream and chocolate syrup,” sophomore Zyaiah Harvey said, who enjoyed trying traditional food. “On Mardi Gras, people eat crepes and the King Cake, where a baby is hidden in the cake, and whoever gets the baby is queen or king for the day. I would definitely go down to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, just to see what the food is like and to see what the original culture of Mardi Gras is.”
The celebration originates from New Orleans, where French is spoken mostly as a secondary language. Because of the large presence of French culture, French classes participated in some practices held on Mardi Gras.
“We had a little party in French class,” sophomore Lily Perdue said. “We tried on colorful masks, which is part of Mardi Gras tradition. It helped me learn more about the culture, and it was a lot of fun.”
Although never having experienced Mardi Gras first-hand, French teacher Mrs. Kendra Turner found it important that her students were aware of the traditions celebrated, and that they were culturally rounded.
“It’s good to know about all the religions and beliefs in case you run into somebody whose maybe Catholic and really celebrates Lent,” Turner said. “It’s good to explore all the traditions, and just the history of it is interesting.”