That’s me this morning – curiouser and curiouser.
“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”
Ever hear that saying?
I have, and frankly I was unsure of the origin. Maybe from the Bible? I just wasn’t sure. I just looked it up and learned that the saying is:
A conflation of two biblical sayings: ecclesiastes viii. 15 (AV) Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry ‥ and isaiah xxii. 13 (AV) Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die. source
Why do I bring this up?
Today is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday. A last hurrah before a period of prohibition. Thinking about Mardi Gras made me think of that old saying.
I have never really celebrated Mardi Gras nor do I observe the tradition of prohibiting certain foods during Lent, but for some reason I’ve been a little more curious about it this year and have been reading more about it.
I found different sides to the idea of a Mardi Gras feast – from the ‘last hurrah/live it up while you can’ idea to the simple concept of using up the rich foods on hand before setting them aside during Lent in order to avoid waste.
I am glad that I did decide to look into it more and discover a little more meaning to the Mardi Gras images I’ve seen. For instance, the bright colors you see on the beads, masks and parade floats traditionally represent justice (purple), faith (green), and power (gold). It is also interesting to find that the word Carnival comes from the Latin carne vale, meaning “farewell to the flesh,” a reference to the practice of some to give up meat during Lent.
In my reading, I also saw that Carnival season begins with Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night. This refers to January 6, twelve days after Christmas, which celebrates the Wise Men bringing gifts for baby Jesus.
Does Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night have anything to do with Epiphany? A little internet search tells me that Shakespeare wrote the play to be performed as Twelfth Night entertainment, and that elements of the story follow the traditions of the Twelfth Night holiday. Who knew?
Mardi Gras will likely be an ordinary day for me, but it was fun to find out more about it. If you care to read more, I found information at the following:
Who knows just where I’d end up if I kept chasing one curiosity after another all day. I do believe I will set it aside for now and get on with my day. 🙂
How about you? Do you celebrate Mardi Gras?