(bal masque, tableau ball) - A masked gathering where scenes
representing the Krewe's theme are enacted to entertain
the club members and all their guest. Also during the ball
the krewe "royalty" is presented according to tradition.
- The fatted bull or ox. It is the ancient symbol
of the last meat eaten befor the Lenten season of fasting.
Up until 1909, a live version was presented in the Rex parade.
Starting in 1959, a paper mache' version appeared and has
continued as our Carnival's most recognizable symbol.
- The LEADER of each Carnival group or organization.
- From the latin word carnivale which means
"farwell to flesh". It is the time (or season) of fun
and merriment in New Orleans. Starting each year on January
sixth (the feast of the Epiphany) and ending on Fat Tuesday,
it all leads up to Lent when you make your penance and
feasting is replaced by fasting. note: If you're Catholic
then you give up something for Lent. Adults might give up
smoking or drinking, kids might give up candy or deserts. My
experience is, it's alot like New Years resolutions...
-The King, Queen, maids and dukes of the Carnival group
or organization. Remember to listen to your Captain!
- Where the floats are built and stored when it's not Mardi
Gras. Usually a (secret) warehouse in or
around the city.
- Metal (usually various colored aluminum) coin-like objects
with the krewe's logo or insignia on the front and their theme
on the back. Doubloons were first introduced by the Krewe of
Rex in 1960. They are also minted in gold, silver, and bronze.
- a token of appreciation given by krewe members to friends
attending the ball. This token or souvenir usually had the
organizations' insignia, name and a date of issue. These items
could be anything from a ring to a pin or doubloon stamped in
a precious metal.
- Traditionally, these are the 'white-robed' black men who carry
the tourches for the parades. Before they had electric generators
on board, these guys were the only source of light for the
parade. note: These cats are wild and will dance like madmen
depending on their fuel gauge. They love for you to throw money
but don't expect much for less than quarters. I used to love to
hear the jingle and watch these guys dance.
- It's what the Krewes ride in at the parades... they are the
parade! Of course you'll have marching bands and flambeaux
carriers (at night) in between them.
note: They come in all shapes
and sizes, from the square truck types of Elks and Orleans,
to the magnificent floats of Endymion, Rex and Baccus.
- Groups of black New Orleanians who portray American Indians
in magnificent outfits of beads and feathers all hand sewn
thru out the year in prepartion for the carnival season.
note: I played keyboards with Aaron Neville,
Charles Neville and Willie West in a group called Renegade
back in the '70's just before the now famous
came together. We did a New Orleans Show in the middle of
our gig that was incredible (if I do say so myself). One of the
most famous Indian tribes called the Wild Tchoupitoulas was
led by the late Chief George Jolly and the Chief (related
ofcourse to the Nevilles) would come and sit in with us along
with Cyril and Art. You had to see it to believe it!
- Just what it says... invitation - you won't get in the ball
without one. And no, they weren't passes or tickets, they are
personalized invitations with your name on them,
often worth more than their weight in gold!
- It is believed the King Cake originated in France around
the 12th century to celebrate the coming of the three wise
men bearing gifts twelve days after Christmas calling it the
Feast of the Epiphany, Twelfth Night or King's Day. In baking
these delicious treats to honor the three Kings, the cakes were made
circular to portray the circular route taken by the kings to
confuse King Herod, who was trying
to follow the wise men so he could kill the Christ Child.
In these early days, a bean, a pea or a coin was hidden inside
the cake and who ever got the hidden item in their piece of
cake was declared King
for a day, or was said to have good luck in the coming year.
In Louisiana, Twelfth Night (Jan. 6th) signifies the beginning of
our carnival season and the bean, pea or coin has been replaced
by a small baby which symbolizes the Christ Child. Today, the
person getting the baby is expected to host the next King Cake
- The carnival organizations themselves... Krewe of Rex, Krewe
of Elks, Krewe of Orleans... etc. The Mistick Krewe of Comus
coined the word in 1857 to give themselves an Old
- Fat Monday, the day before Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras Day!
note; It's the end of the beginning and beginning of the
end of Mardi Gras... don't stop now... party on!
- THE DAY! The preceding weeks of parades, balls, parties and
general festivities are only a rehersal for this day!
note; in my younger days I'd go to sleep Sunday nite and get
up late on Monday afternoon (about 2pm), and then I'd be
good for about
36 hours... those were the good ol' days!
- trinkets and toys thrown from the floats by the costumed
Krewes. Throws include aluminum doubloons, beads, (faux)
pearl necklaces, plastic cups, dolls on a cane, mini frisbes...
you get the idea. All ya' gotta' know are four words
and you've got the parade thing down. Here's the not so secret
code for all the Mardi Gras parade goers,
let's really hear it this time!...
...Nice and loud now...
"THROW ME SOMETHING MISTER!"
Thank's for visiting... ENJOY!