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Norsestar Newspaper

A Time for Celebration

Ke'Londa Magee, Editor

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With Mardi Gras just around the corner, people are getting their beads, king cake, and masks ready for a celebration. This being said, most people may not know the reason as to why we celebrate in the first place.  The celebration of Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years, according to historians. The Romans threw festivals to celebrate spring and fertility. The celebration was then incorporated into new faith that was brought to Rome when the Christians arrived. Mardi Gras soon spread to other european countries, such as Germany, Spain, England, and France. Mardi Gras directly translates to “Fat Tuesday.” Fat Tuesday is a Catholic Church tradition; the day marks the last average day before Lent begins. Lent is the time of repentance, prayer, and fasting. People try to get more in tune to the Lord’s voice when fasting by giving up extra goods in life.

On March 3, 1699, the first American Mardi Gras took place. When French explorers Iberville and Bienville arrived at what is now Louisiana, they held a small celebration and proclaimed the spot to be Point du Mardi Gras. As time went on, New Orleans and other french settlements celebrated by parading through town as if a party had moved to the streets, fancy dinners that would make you think royalty was in town, and masquerades with masks that would occasionally be flashier than the gowns. However, these rituals and celebrations were cut short when the Spanish arrived. The Spanish eventually gained control of New Orleans. Once they did, a ban was put on these traditions, up until the year of 1812. The ban on Mardi Gras was lifted when Louisiana became an official U.S. state. Only in Louisiana is Mardi Gras a legal holiday; although Alabama and Mississippi throw their own festivals to celebrate as well

This weekend, Vicksburg will be celebrating it’s 16th annual Mardi Gras Parade! The parade begins at Washington and Belmont streets and will travel North on Washington Street to Jackson Street. Go out celebrate Mardi Gras with the community, and have a grand time!



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A Time for Celebration