Mardi Gras

The annual day of bacchanalia (I can think of no other discription for it) is upon us. So instead of getting prepared for Lent by prayer, the world will now engorge itself on drunkeness and gluttony for the day. In ancient days it was the day upon which the fat meats would be finished with a feast, or carne vale farewell to meat.

Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French. The name comes from the tradition of slaughtering and feasting upon a fattened calf on the last day of Carnival. The day is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from "to shrive," or hear confessions), Pancake Tuesday and fetter Dienstag. The custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins.

Here is a link to Versailles and More where in Catherine Delors tell us about one particular Carnival at Versailles, and the appearance of the Marquise de Pompadour.


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