Arts & Entertainment,
January 14th, 2013
photo // Humid Beings
journalism.howlround.comBy Nick Slie
The costume making skills of the average New Orleanian are astonishing. As I write, thousands of people in our fair city are busy sewing, beading, bedazzling and thrift store hunting. Today is Twelve Night, the official kick-off to carnival season. Since Mardi Gras Day is February 12th, the internal costume making radars of the entire city are now on alert. Thirty-seven days to the show. Thirty-seven days until food-laden neutral grounds, deep belly laughs, hundreds of marching bands, exhaustive dancing, family dinners and parades. Thirty-seven days until the largest collective ensemble performance in America: Mardi Gras. New Orleanians treat this season with reverence for so many reasons: (1) You are the show and everyone knows it. (2) It’s free and it takes place on the streets. (3) It is rooted in centuries old traditions. (4) It is the supreme example of how we use food, culture and music to bring people together to build and strengthen community.
In an ever-accelerating world, taking the time to gather people in person is becoming more radical by the minute. New Orleanians specialize in this and we do so with flare. Any chance to get together is a chance to celebrate. We’ll turn the average Saints watching experience at someone’s home into an event featuring enough fried food, pimiento cheese, booze, glitter and touchdown dances to inspire one to become a football fan. The same goes for an average Tuesday or Wednesday. From January to June, there are four days in Southeast Louisiana without a festival. Reflect on that.