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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Out With Aulde and In with the Gras

photo by Jeff Shrier


Yesterday was Epiphany or King's Day- the official end of the Twelve Days of Christmas and the beginning of Carnival Season. The people of Louisiana never have to suffer the dysphoria of taking down the Christmas lights because they are already onto the next thing- breaking out the King Cake and starting a round of parties that will last until, you guessed it, Fat Tuesday- this year on February 16th.

King cakes contain a baby figurine baked inside; whomever gets the piece with the baby customarily provides the next cake and party. This goes on with celebrations and parades building until everything comes to an abrupt halt at midnight on Mardi Gras Day- then all bets are off. It's back to church, and Ash Wednesday ushers in the season of deprivation- Lent. (Last year I explained all this to my Catholic nieces which could be the closest I ever come to religious training.)


(photo by Beth Rado)


Here in the frozen North we have Little Red and the Renegades to save us from missing out on all the fun, and they'll be playing Friday night at Haydee's In Mt Pleasant.


Here's the scoop from band member Harry Rado:


"Little Red will lay down his booty shakin’ versions of all the classic New Orleans Carnival tunes by Professor Longhair, Earl King, and other Crescent City greats, and then rock the club with his swampy Zydeco.


Haydee’s is the perfect place to party in these tough economic times—they serve great Salvadorian/Mexican food in huge portions at pocketbook friendly prices.


The cordial crowd there will be a mix of people from Latin America, local Mt. Pleasant/Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights hipsters, swing dancers, roots music fans, and folks with New Orleans/Louisiana connections. Come on down and party!"


No cover! Laissez les bon temps roulez DC!


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