Students learn: Mardi gras leads to lent

Thursday, March 6, 2003

Conner Reinoehl, a 5th grader at Annunciation School, celebrated Mardi Gras with her schoolmates on Fat Tuesday, March 4.

The Annunciation School Student Council sponsored a Mardi Gras parade on Fat Tuesday, March 4. The season begins on January 6 and continues until Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

The Mardi Gras came to New Orleans through its French heritage in 1699. Throughout the years, Orleanians added to the celebration by establishing krewes (organizations) which host parades and balls.

Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" and, of course is celebrated on that day of the week. The date can fall between Feb. 3 and March 9 depending on the Lunar calendar, used by the Catholic Church to determine the date of Easter. Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.

The official Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold. Chosen in 1872 by the King of Carnival, Rex, the colors stand for: justice, faith and power.

Mardi Gras parades are known for their flashy colors, costumes and the throwing of beads, doubloons and trinkets.

The Annunciation 4th and 5th graders had been working on making their costumes since the first of February during art class. Even though the classes were frequently canceled due to snow delays, the end result was a very colorful fun filled event that thrilled the K through 3rd grade spectators.

Keegan McDonald was appointed Mardi Gras king. Since he is the only 5th grade boy, an election wasn't necessary. Instead of a queen, all of the 5th grade girls were designated Mardi Gras princesses.

The costumed merrymakers paraded and danced around the school parking lot while throwing out beads, plastic coins and candy to their excited younger schoolmates. After the parade concluded, all of the students and staff retreated to the basement and enjoyed ice cream sundaes provided by the Student Council.

Princess Conner Reinoehl said about the parade, "It was fun. It was fun because we got to throw stuff to the younger kids."

Holly Pierce, a computer teacher and morning secretary at the school said, "The kids have been real excited about it. It was a fun project and something they could play at before the seriousness of Lent."

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