BCCHS French Club “Fat Tuesday” Mardi Gras Celebration at Lunch

Rhodes Ngabirano, Staff Writer

Birmingham Community Charter High School’s French Club put together a Mardi Gras celebration on the first of March during lunch. It was held in the quad and had several events such as a parade, which was aided by the school’s marching band, face painting, a photo booth, and a costume contest in which the winner received a cash prize of $50, the person in second place got $30, and third place got $20. The BCCHS French Club advisor, Mr. Jacques-Michel Endene, stated that the reason why the French Club chose to bring Mardi Gras to Birmingham was “because it’s based on a cultural event, which is based on international tradition, but it also has a French component to it.”

Mardi Gras celebration in the Quad 

A little background on Mardi Gras, also known as carnival, is that it has been celebrated for centuries all over the world in different places like Asia, Europe, and the biggest celebration of them all, in Brazil.

The United States started celebrating Mardi Gras in the year 1699 in the city of New Orleans. It was first introduced by two French men, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Sieur de Bienville who threw a party to celebrate their arrival to New Orleans, the first-ever Mardi Gras. It has also been argued that the festival started when a group of American soldiers decided to roam the streets of New Orleans in costumes as they had seen while visiting France in 1827.

Carnival Mask

Mardi Gras is celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday when the religious season of Lent begins. Mardi Gras gained its meaning from “Fat Tuesday” because of the highlighted event, which is the fattening festival to prepare the body for fasting.

The Mardi Gras carnival has evolved and developed new traditions and ways to celebrate the festival in a more modern-day style over the years. A good example is the Mardi Gras Celebration held at lunch on Fat Tuesday in our own Birmingham High School quad.