Yes boys and girls, our tradition of running all over the countryside, chasing after chickens, is fast approaching.
You can feel the electricity in the air. People buying enough material to make a tent, when asked “you running this year”, act very vague. Of course they are. They just don’t want you to know.
There are those for whom the anonymity of it all is what makes it so-o much fun. I’ve costumed husbands who were never recognized by their wives; brothers who didn’t know who their sisters were; best friends fooling each other by switching costumes; there are tons of stories I could tell but I won’t.
Mardi Gras is such an old, ancient tradition that regardless how silly and insane it may seem to some, there are others who adore the celebration.
Aside from all this hoop-la, there is a business side to it all. Cottage industries have popped up all over the place. Costumes and masks, decorations, small handmade collectibles, even decorative jewelry like junk. And it’s not something that just springs up overnight. In our case, we make costumes and masks all year long, just to keep up with the demand. We have some pictured in at least a dozen different publications and exhibited in five or six museums, including one in Holland of all places.
The interest in our culture is there. I only hope that those who portray it to the general public do so in a clean and timely fashion. This ain’t New Orleans! They have a bad habit of being a little raunchy.
And keep in mind, what and how you tell people of our culture is what they take home and pass on to others. I wish I could remember half of the screwed-up stories I have had related to me as gospel truth that “someone told someone”. Guess it’s my special purpose in life to set them all straight!
Visitors are already starting to trickle into the surrounding area. Make them feel welcome. Find out how they found out about us. That’s always a very interesting story.
Someone was telling me a story of the carnival season back in her hometown and she made it sound so good, that I actually gave some thought to going there one year, til she told me she was from Belgium!
And there was the lady from Brazil who tried to convince us what fun it would be for us to attend Carnival in Rio. Yeah, as soon as my bikini comes back from the laundry.
Me and my bikini wish you all a safe Mardi Gras.
February 5, 2012