Thus begins my absolute favorite holiday of the year.*
The Mardi Gras knitting party was a big success, I think. Much music, food, merriment, and knitting. Rachel posted photos here.
The Twelfth Night parade took place in 70 degree weather, but because it's a semi-secret, nighttime parade, consists only of locals. There are moments every year when I look up into the leafless trees against black sky and see masses of flying doves startled out of their perches by the sounds of Brazilian percussion and whistles. We wave to the silhouetted residents up in the third floor windows and raise our glasses at each local bar. In dancing to the beats, we probably walk twice as far as the actual parade route before gathering to hoist the Mardi Gras flag and watch the fireworks show.
Unfortunately, the parade ends near the river and roads can only go uphill from there. One margarita later and I felt I could make it back. I slept the sleep of the just.
Today, I turned the heel on my Emma KAL sock.
Just in case you're confused:
- "Twelfth Night" (aka Epiphany) is always on January 6. It's called Twelfth Night because it comes twelve days after Christmas.
- "Carnival" is the season between Epiphany and Lent. Its length can vary, depending on when Lent begins (which is dependent on when Easter falls). Some people call this whole season "Mardi Gras," but technically ...
- ... "Mardi Gras" (literally "Fat Tuesday") is the last day of Carnival season, the day before Ash Wednesday when the street sweepers come out and all the fun ends.
- In St. Louis, the Grand Parade is the Saturday before Fat Tuesday.