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Sunday, February 17, 2013


With the occasion of Ash Wednesday last week, we have now officially entered into Lent. With this in mind, a week ago I hosted my annual Mardi Gras dinner on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday.

My friends will tell you that I LOVE to entertain.  For me that is an important element of the “lifestyle” part of this blog.  While I love the traditional and preppy clothes, any true prep will tell you that if there is anything that they truly enjoy it’s a good party, and any occasion that affords an opportunity to party.  As I get older though, most of those parties have evolved into dinner parties so it’s no surprise that I celebrate Mardi Gras by hosting a dinner for friends.

Decorations are in place.

The table is set.

First a little history about Mardi Gras.  Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” is specifically the day before Ash Wednesday, but it’s rooted in the Christian feast of Epiphany, celebrated on January 6.  Epiphany commemorates the Magi finding the Christ child, and on Mardi Gras we celebrate that connection with a King’s Cake in which a baby is hidden.  Just as the Magi - the three kings - searched for the baby Jesus, we look for the baby in the King’s Cake.

There's a baby somewhere in that cake!

The guests have arrived!

The time from Epiphany to “Fat Tuesday” is known as Carnival - or generically as Mardi Gras here in the States - and is a time for many parties and celebrations.  The celebrations as I said originally remembered the joy of the Magi in finding the Christ child, but in time, they became opportunities for (sometimes unbridled) revelry before the solemness of Lent.

My annual Mardi Gras dinner has become another opportunity for me to gather with friends during the sometimes long, and cold Minnesota winters.  With the chill outside I can always count on the love and warmth of my friends to carry me through to spring.

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