Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardis Gras

Today is Mardis Gras...which is French for "Fat Tuesday". It represents the last day of feasting before Lent begins so it's origin is as a Christian holiday. But over time it has become famous throughout the world as a big carnival day. Two of the biggest events take place in New Orleans and Rio De Janeiro with parades and a lot of wild partying. Mostly "adults only" types of activities are associated with Mardis Gras these days, but there are still some fun things you can do to celebrate with kids.

-Have them make masks out of paper plates and wear them to dinner.

-Decorate your table in bright colors and with beads and streamers so it feels like a festival atmosphere.

- Play some jazz music of course.

- Prepare a meal with all of their very favorite foods. And for dessert serve the traditional King Cake.  The cake is made as an oval to represent unity. It's usually decorated in purple, gold and green to symbolize Justice, Power and Faith. Cover the cake in beads to represent the gifts that the wise men brought to the baby Jesus. And somewhere inside the cake hide a small toy baby. If you are not Christian you can hide a  toy coin or some other fun item instead. Make a rule that whoever finds the item in their piece of cake becomes "King (or Queen) for the day!" The kids will love it.

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