Friday, January 8, 2010

It's Carnival Time!

Yes indeed, It's Mardi Gras here in Louisiana! The time of King Cakes, Parades, Fancy Costume Balls and some good old fun! Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning "farewell to the flesh." It's a Catholic holiday but you don't have to be Catholic to enjoy the fun! Mardi Gras likely has its roots in pre-Christian traditions based on the seasons. Some believe the festival represented the few days added to the lunar calendar to make it coincide with the solar calendar; since these days were outside the calendar, rules and customs were not obeyed. Others see it as a late-winter celebration designed to welcome the coming spring. As early as the middle of the second century, the Romans observed a Fast of 40 Days, which was preceded by a brief season of feasting, costumes and merrymaking.


The Carnival season kicks off with the Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night, Three Kings' Day and, in the Eastern churches, Theophany. Epiphany, which falls on January 6, 12 days after Christmas, celebrates the visit of the Wise Men bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. In cultures that celebrate Carnival, Epiphany kicks off a series of parties leading up to Mardi Gras.

Epiphany is also traditionally when celebrants serve King's Cake, a custom that began in France in the 12th century. Legend has it that the cakes were made in a circle to represent the circular routes that the Wise Men took to find Jesus, in order to confuse King Herod and foil his plans of killing the Christ Child. In the early days, a coin or bean was hidden inside the cake, and whoever found the item was said to have good luck in the coming year. In Louisiana, bakers now put a small baby, representing the Christ Child, in the cake; the recipient is then expected to host the next King Cake party.

Here are some links for making the Fabulous Louisiana King Cake!
Gumbo Pages / Southern Food
Mardi Gras Day
Cookie Madness Blog .
Kids King Cake Using Refrigerator Biscuits
Instructables King Cake
King "Cup" Cake
Let me know if you liked these! I have lots more goodies to help you and your kiddo's celebrate Mardi Gras to come!

Have a Child's Play Day!
Ms. Laura


  1. Happy Mardi Gras!
    And thanks for the comments you've left on my blog! You also have a great blog and I look forward to visiting again!

  2. Mardi Gras definitely lends itself to some amazing creativity and fun! I have never been to Mardi Gras - perhaps I will be able to do that someday.

  3. Hi Laura,
    I have left you a little award on my fingerplay blog.