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It’s that time of year again.

By February 16, 2020Tamlin's real life

And what time is that?.. I hear you asking.

Here’s a clue.

Yup, Mardi Gras, KING CAKE  babies.

So, I have a story about these little plastic babies.
I went to a garden party years ago. I was new to the South and had very little knowledge of their traditions and practices.
The grounds were manicured and precise.
The food was over-the-top fabulous and we savored every bite as we walked the stone garden paths. Flowers were in bloom and the fragrance was delightful.

Come time for dessert, there were many cakes on a white linen table, all the same. Oh, there were different sizes but they all were circle/bunt cakes with green, gold and purple sprinkles. Why would an elegant garden party have all the same desserts?
I soon found out. While enjoying every delicious bite, I felt something hard in my mouth that I’m sure was not suppose to be. I pulled it out and VIOLA… a plastic baby, small enough to swallow.
WTF… was my first thought.
Almost immediately someone standing close to me said “You got the baby !!!”

Yes, and I nearly choked on it !!!

I learned that custom quickly. The one who gets the baby is to have prosperity in the upcoming year.
That was my first introduction to the Mardi Gras traditions.

Here in the SOUTH there are many rituals. Colorful parades with spectacular floats, thrown beads & moon pies, gaudy costumes and a whole lotta endless, exhausting fun. Not to mention the zillions of King Cakes sold in every grocery store, (which are quite tasty, by the way).

Actually, Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” and the last night of over-indulgence before the ritual of fasting and religious obligations starting on Ash Wednesday. Sounds like a headache to me.
And the baby I almost swallowed symbolizes Jesus.

As an art teacher, I felt this energy and I knew I needed to take advantage of the swell of  frenzy that lasts the 2 months of February and March.
So, we make Mardi Gras Masks to wear or display. The class is every year and no 2 masks are ever alike.


So enjoy all the ruckus before you have to give it up for Lent… or not.



Author Tamlin

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