Holy Trinity Parish Churches of St. Columbkill, Holy Trinity and St. Mary, of Goodhue are celebrating Mardi Gras with a fundraiser for Youth and Family Ministry. 10% of proceeds will go to First Choice Clinic in Red Wing for Mom’s and families. This Mardi Gras celebration is Sunday, February 19th from 12-4 p.m. at the Lions Building in Goodhue.
Mardi Gras comes from the French word, Mardi for “Tuesday” and Gras meaning “fat”. In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday”. In many cultures, the time between the Christmas season and Lent is known as “carnival”. In the U.S., “carnival” is used almost exclusively in connection with the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. Carnival is a season extending over several weeks, beginning January 6th and ending at midnight before Ash Wednesday. This year Mardi Gras is February 21.
Traditionally, since some Christians fast during Lent, Mardi Gras was a day to have a party and use up all the ingredients and food that would not be eaten during Lent. Since controlled refrigeration was uncommon until the 1800’s, the foods forbidden by the church at that time would spoil. Back in the day those things included all fats, dairy, and sugar. Rather than wasting them, families consumed what they had and helped others do the same in a festive atmosphere. In some areas of Germany, the Lenten discipline applied to strong drink as well.
Like many Catholic celebrations, Mardi Gras likely has its roots in pre-Christian tradition based on the liturgical seasons. What is less known about Mardi Gras is its relationship to the Christmas season, specifically the feast of Epiphany. The colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. Purple stands for myrrh and justice, green for frankincense and faith, gold is for gold and power. When the Magi from the East paid homage to the newborn Jesus, they presented him with gifts of Gold, frankincense, and myrrh-gifts for a king. By presenting these gifts, the Magi acknowledged the baby was a king. Therefore, one of the most prominent customs in the celebration of Mardi Gras is the King Cake. They are decorated in traditional Mardi Gras colors. Oftentimes tucked away inside the cake is a figurine representing the Baby Jesus. Originally, King Cake was made and eaten by Catholic families for the Epiphany to celebrate the coming of the three Kings to see baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Given that the “carnival season” runs from Epiphany until Ash Wednesday, with the day before Lent being your “last chance” to eat sweets, the cake has in more recent years been associated with Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras masks are very popular in Venice, Italy, and date all the way back to the 13th century. Because they are worn to masked balls, they are most known for covering the top half of the face only. This way the guests can still eat, drink, and talk freely. These are also very popular in New Orleans, Louisiana where Mardi Gras is extremely popular.
All are welcome to join in the Mardi Gras celebration in Goodhue and enjoy Mardi Gras-themed food with American cuisine options for a free will offering. There will be free children’s games and activities for the family including a cupcake walk, mask decorating, hand/face painting and a Mardi Gras themed Bingo find. Also, there is an accelerated corn hole competition for $10 for 10 underhand throws in 30 seconds! 1st Place: $300, 2nd Place: $200, 3rd Place: $100.
Come join us for “Fat Sunday”!