Fun Ways to Celebrate Mardi Gras and Get Ready for Lent
COVID-19 has certainly changed the culture of many once-crowd-inducing events such as Mardi Gras. And while even New Orleans is unusually quiet this time of year, the celebrations surrounding the purpose for Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday on February 16 — and more importantly the following Ash Wednesday (February 17) — which marks the first day of Lent can still be celebrated safely.
Fellowship Square offers some safe and fun ways for seniors to recognize Fat Tuesday and prepare for Lent.
Turn up the Tunes —
Mardi Gras celebrations are typically defined with all sorts of revelry — parades, people in the streets, dancing — all to the soundtrack of sounds such as jazz, brass music, rhythm and blues, and zydeco. Seniors can put on some music and let the tunes transport them to the Big Easy!
Bake a King Cake —
The sounds of Mardi Gras are matched only by the flavors! During Carnival from Latin America to New Orleans, king cakes are a popular Fat Tuesday tradition, though historically king cakes (circular cakes intended to represent the king’s crown) were the centerpiece of the Epiphany, on January 6, these colorful sweet treats have become an iconic part of Mardi Gras celebrations. Inside each cake is a hidden trinket, often a small plastic baby, and whomever gets the slice with the trinket becomes “king for the day.” A festive yellow, green and purple decorated cake is sure to deliver some smile on Fat Tuesday.
Enjoy “Carnival” Cuisine —
Mardi Gras is rife with indulgences in preparation of Lent, the 40-day period of reflection in anticipation and celebration of Easter Sunday and Christ’s resurrection. So seniors can enjoy a traditional Fat Tuesday meal — perhaps some red beans and rice, shrimp and sausage gumbo, fried catfish, crawfish etouffee, muffulettas, beignets… the list goes on!
Get Ready for Ash Wednesday —
Many churches are offering virtual mass and other options for Ash Wednesday celebrations and services so seniors can look into those for a safe way to recognize this day. Seniors can also consider what they are going to “give up” for Lent. This sacrifice serves to represent Jesus’ sacrifice for humans when he sacrificed for 40 days and 40 nights prior to his ultimate sacrificed of dying on the cross.
Align Lent with a Goal —
For those that have been working on some New Year’s resolutions or are looking to revive those goals that got off track since January 1, Lent is a great time to remotivate! Seniors needn’t overcomplicate this — they can simply choose one item to give up — temporarily. Perhaps red meat or alcohol? Because Lent has a “deadline,” this can be encouraging as seniors know they will still be able to enjoy their beloved steak or glass of red wine in the future. It’s not giving up something forever, but it can be a great segue into cutting back on some of these habits for better overall health going forward.
However seniors choose to celebrate Mardi Gras and prepare for Ash Wednesday and Lent, Fellowship Square encourages them to do so in a way that is safe for themselves and others. Meanwhile, let the good times roll!