In many parts of the Asian world (don’t look too far),
Mardi Gras is commonly mistaken as just another nouveau fancy dress affair,
sporting, admittedly, beautifully decorated floats and people, loud music,
and parking problems. Well, not quite. Without going into history too
deeply, the origins of Mardi Gras began a long time before Europeans set
foot in the New World, and goes back to the ancient Romans who were well
known for holding festivities of excesses, such as the Saturnalia and the
With the influence of the Catholic Church, many pagan
festivals were absorbed into the Gregorian calendar, and names were changed
to protect the guilty. One of these was “Fat Tuesday” (the translation
of Mardi Gras) which is also related to the English Shrove Tuesday.
Obviously having evolved over the centuries, Mardi Gras
became a major holiday season in Europe, and was brought to America by the
French explorer Iberville, back in 1699. On Tuesday, March 3 of 1699,
Iberville set up camp on the west bank of the river about 60 miles south of
where New Orleans is today. This was the day Mardi Gras was being celebrated
in France, and in honor of this important day, Iberville named the site
Point du Mardi Gras.
Today, Mardi Gras still has world-wide significance, even for some Chiang
Mai residents, especially if they indeed hail from New Orleans. The Mardi
Gras recipe for Frank and Becky Weicks was simple, yet effective - prepare
some original New Orleans food, throw in a good number of wines and beers,
invite a bunch of friends, and tell them to dress up according to the theme!
And, boy, they did go out of their way to make it as authentic as possible -
the food could not get any more ‘original’, and comprised of home-made
blackened chicken, gumbo, red beans and rice, salads, shrimp and crab,
carrot, cabbage and apple salad, blue cheese dip, “Y’all” name it....
The music was jazzy and Creole, the King Cake exceptionally delicious, and
the costumes absolutely stunning. Almost everyone found a little something
to dress up in, some even found a lot, and just a few came ‘as
themselves’. The crowd voted Howard “The white bat” Graves and Cheri
“The cow” almost unanimously for best male and female costumes, and both
were awarded a trophy to pass on to their unbelieving family members. A
great and very entertaining evening, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Becky! Turn the camera. I am HERE!
Pirates! But they don’t look that scary! Okechin and John Laine, with
Consul General of USA Eric Rubin and Paul Mahoney, in disguise with pearl
necklaces, whispering with Franck Weicks.
need a lot of good food in order to produce milk. Not hard to find ... Host
Franck Weicks, Cherryl and Celeste Tolibas-Holland.
the winners for most original costumes of the nights are: Howard C. Graves
Jr. and Cheri Potter”.
Dixon and a mysterious Afghan lady.
of paradise’, alias Bud Velat, sophisticated Hans B. Christensen (The
House) and glittery Michael Vogt (Chiangmai Mail).
and Patrick Ghielmetti from ‘Fantasyland’; or was it the ‘Four
Night Chiang Mai! It is midnight! Time to go home, David and Noi Hardcastle.
from the carnival in Venice came Carl, Penelope and Marion.