Fat Tuesday….Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday, Carnival, and even Pancake Day (click this link for cute coloring pages) in the UK, is an annual festival which will be celebrated on 8th March in 2011. Falling just before Lent, it traditionally marks the last opportunity for fun and feasting on indulgent foods (fats) before 40 days of “self-denial”. Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French.
Festivities begin at the beginning of February, leading up to Mardi Gras day, and consist of parades, dancing in the street, costumes and masked balls. The modern Carnival tradition developed in Europe in the Middle ages, and is celebrated mainly in Roman Catholic communities in Europe and the Americas today. Some of the most famous celebrations are held in Nice (France), Cologne (Germany), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and New Orleans (USA)
How can kids celebrate Mardi Gras?
Since most of the traditional activities are definitely adult oriented you might think that the kids are excluded. Not so. Here are some ideas for getting children involved in this celebration. This just might open up a conversation about why Fat Tuesday is a holiday and the meaning of Lent that follows.
1. Print free Coloring pages that include costumes, beads, king cake, pancakes and celebrations
2. Buy or bake a King Cake together.
Parents cut cake in 2 inch slices and be careful to monitor smaller children as there is a small plastic “baby” inside.
3. Create and decorate masquerade masks and wear them in honor of Fat Tuesday
4. Learn some French words and their meaning like Mardi Gras
5. Play Dixieland Jazz or Cajun music to set the stage for your Mardi Gras party. Talk about how jazz is an integral part of New Orleans heritage
6. Bake Fleur-de-lis cookies. Decorate them with yellow, purple and green tinted sugar to match the Mardi-Gras theme. This is a good idea for kids that are too small to handle the “baby” in the cake issue.
Whatever you do to celebrate Fat Tueday…do it together. We need to spend meaningful time with our kids, after all we are raising our grandchildren’s parents…think about it!
Read more: The Meaning of Fat Tuesday | eHow.co.uk http://www.ehow.co.uk/about_6670718_meaning-fat-tuesday.html#ixzz1FZrYfcSI