Happy Mardi Gras

D.C., Maryland and Virginia — and other states — will be voting in presidential primaries next week, so I shall wish you a happy Mardi Gras instead. (A Trader Joe’s fiber muffin is no substitute for king cake.) I lived several of my childhood years in suburban New Orleans so well recall the day, with New Orleans past safely stored in memory.

This Mardi Gras, due to an extreme in the church calendar, is the earliest most of us will see in our lifetimes. Nice to know global climate change means it won’t be the coldest!

So Happy Mardi Gras. I’ll be celebrating tonight — watching primary returns. I am a Washingtonian now, after all.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Interesting that Americans use this French expression, I guess because the New Orleans festival is the best known. It is what the rest of us call Carnival, right? Or are there differences?

    In Spain, Ash Wednesday includes a funny epilogue to Carnival called “The burial of the sardine”, in which people dress in black and women mourn and cry very dramatically while men carry the coffin that contains the sardine that will be buried as a signal of the beginning of Lent.

    Of course there is a sexual connotation here…

  2. It’s the same day and the same holiday. But when I hear Carnival, I think Brazil.

    I suppose some people in the United States still call it Shrove Tuesday, but that reminds me of rather sedate Anglo-Saxon observances focused on pancakes.

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