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Arts and Crafts

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Artfully Created And Fun For Everyone

It was long anticipated, ingeniously created, and in spite of the wet weather well celebrated, but it is over and we have to wait until next year to enjoy it again; Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).

Have you ever wondered how and where Mardi Gras began? Here is the story in a nutshell.

The day after Christmas in 1831, Michael Krafft, a young cotton broker, went home at night after having dinner with a captain whose ship was tied up in Mobile. On his way home, he sat down in the doorway of a hardware store. While sitting down, he knocked over a rake and a string of cowbells which came rattling down. He tied the bells to the teeth of the rake and went on his merry way with the jingling rake.

Of course that drew attention and upon asked he answered it was the Cowbellion de Rakin Society. His action and answer caught the attention of the media with the question if the Cowbellions would be back next year. They did. Yes, they, because a small group of men had formed by that time to partake in the festivity.

In 1833, they dressed up in masks and fancy costumes and in 1840 the first parade consisting of six floats took place. Krafft never got to see it, because he died of yellow fever in 1839.

It all took a flight from there and spread to New Orleans. Eventually, the parade shifted from New Year's Eve to the date it is currently held, due to the fact that Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) was held in the beginning of the year in New Orleans, after the annual parade of the New Orleans Fire Department.

Joseph Stillwell Cain thought this was a great idea and introduced it to Mobile. For several years two parades took place there; one on New Year’s Eve and another one on Mardi Gras Day.

The first one eventually mystically disappeared, but the second one grew into the celebration as we know it at present; artfully created and fun for everyone!

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