All Over Now

Carnival season is steeped in official ritual and tradition. Traditionally, the 12th Night Revelers and the Phunny Phorty Phellows kick the season off, and traditionally, one does not indulge in king cake before then (or after Fat Tuesday as well).

Families have their carnival traditions through the season as well. It might be a tradition which parades to go to every year, and often families have a traditional spot to watch those parades every year.

A tradition I witnessed going on full tilt at Bacchus this year is the traditional tossing of beads from the crowd at the Baby Kong float. I was unaware this was a tradition—I just thought the people on the neutral ground had gone nuts. Reverse throws pelted the float. Who knew?

Carnival has its traditional rituals that bring the season to a close Mardi Gras day. One grand, one ignoble.

A grand spectacle, the meeting of the courts of Comus and Rex signals the end of the formal carnival season. Since 1892 Rex, his queen, dukes and other court members leave their ball and travel to the Comus ball where the monarchs meet. Shortly after the ball, and carnival, end for the year.

On the streets a different ritual takes place at midnight on Mardi Gras day. State troopers and New Orleans police mounted on horses form a wall at Bourbon and Canal and push the crowds back, making way for a fleet of street cleaning trucks. This is the official close of Mardi Gras. It’s an awesome sight, I’ve witnessed it a couple of times in my younger days. Seeing this article on NOLA.com got me thinking about it again.

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One Response to All Over Now

  1. stacey on February 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    I have experienced the closing a few times, it is quite a site! I am glad that it is over, I need to rest for a few weeks now.

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