Meet Matthew Boudreaux, a Junior from Lafayette, LA. Matt is studying Human Resource Education – Leadership and Development. He also serves as the Orientation Team Leader for FOAP 2016, LSU Ambassadors, Greek Ambassadors, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
What’s that I hear? Sounds like police sirens combined with a marching band but also little hint of Cajun music?!?!….Ohh its must be MARDIS GRAS season! Perhaps one of the holidays looked forward to by most Louisianan’s is officially upon us! During this time you can see a King Cake in every home and office, beads hanging from the electrical lines along the street and everyone rocking a green, yellow and purple Perlis rugby shirt! But how did this little holiday celebrated in the south actually come about?
Mardis Gras, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday, is a celebration of the Christian feast of the Three Kings. This is why we have we have things like King Cake with a plastic baby hidden inside (to represent Jesus Christ). We do everything BIGGER and BETTER in the south so that is why you see miles of parade floats and tons and tons of beads being throw because we just want to celebrate! During a typical Mardis Gras season, the average person will attend local parades in their hometowns and catch up with old friends and family. They will all get together along a parade route, visit, eat together and anxiously await the parade krewe, yes Krewe, to pass in front of them throwing beads, toys, cups and maybe even some more random items.
Perhaps if you are lucky enough, you will even attend a Mardis Gras Ball during the season. A Ball is a formal event put on by the heads of a Mardis Gras Krewe. Everyone who is invited to the Ball gets dressed up in a tux or a formal gown and have one big party! At the beginning, the court of the Ball is presented. This includes the King and Queen, the Maids and Dukes, and even some entertainment from the Court Jester! After that, it is time to party! Fun, dancing and music will carry on until the early hours of the morning for any good Mardi Gras Ball. I was lucky enough to attend my first Ball this past weekend with the Krewe of Olympus in Lafayette, LA! My best friend Megan was a maid of the Krewe and she invited me as her guest! It was truly an awesome experience and I can’t wait to do it all over again this coming weekend with the Krewe of Christopher in Thibodaux, LA!
Some of my favorite memories of the Mardis Gras season were when I was younger and back in my hometown. I lived right along the parade route for my hometown’s parade so I would be woken up by loud music and people every year. All I had to do was throw on my Mardis Gras colors and walk out the front door to join the party. I remember playing in the front yard with my friends and family as people would walk by and we would wait for the parade to get to us. There would always be a smell of gumbo, jambalaya and King Cake in the air and we’d always have the music blaring in the background. Then we would hear the police sirens…that was when the parade was officially here! By the end of the parade, I would have bags and bags of beads (one time even a truck load), enough cups to fill a shelf in the kitchen and also some other fun little prizes. Celebrating with my family and friends every Mardis Gras season is always the highlight.
If you’re not from Louisiana and are even the slightest bit interested in this “crazy” celebration…PLEASE book your flight now and head on own to the Boot because we would love to have you and show you what Mardis Gras is all about! And if you are from the great state of Louisiana, I can’t wait to see you walking the streets and yelling, “HEY THROW ME SOMETHING MISTER!”