Just so you know, every time I’ve worked on even the smallest bit or component of this post, THIS SONG has been stuck in my head:
I even contemplated changing the name of the card to Mardi Gras Mambo instead, but… it’s pure madness around here during Mardi Gras. Mayhem, chaos, and madness. I swear the entire city smells of booze, tourists, and broken strings of beads this time of year, haha.
Gosh, I’ve missed these Bingo cards for the two months I was on hiatus. As soon as I found out when our opening date would be I started brainstorming on what I could base one around, and then I thought “duhhhh Leanne, make the card about the Big Easy’s most famous party time!” Party time here is really year round, and there is also St. Patrick’s Day to keep in mind during March. But Mardi Gras is just so FUN (at least if you aren’t working in the midst of it like some unlucky people here *cough cough*) and colorful. It would make a great base for a bookish Bingo card.
By the way, that picture used in the background of this month’s card is one I took in the French Quarter! :)
About the Card
Like with my Photo Field Trip post last week, I’m breaking a little away from my usual with this feature. Really, this is a good thing, since you get even more content in one post! Remember how I told you this co-blogging adventure would give me freedom to make my posts even better? Proof right here, in this puddin’.
So, in case you’re unfamiliar with Mardi Gras, or even know what it is but only know the party side of it, I’m going to add in explanations for why I chose these particular square goals. This has the awesome effect of giving you some background on Mardi Gras! And, in case you don’t care about all that, you can skip on ahead to the business end of this post below.
- Books that have a mostly purple, green, or yellow/gold cover: Purple, green, and gold are the official colors of Mardi Gras, and each of them has a meaning (assigned to them by the first Rex, or king, in the late 1800s ): purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. These were chosen based on the house colors of one of the fancypants nobles around that time. Way to suck up, Rex. Bonus Info: One of the biggest college football rivalries around here used to be between LSU and Tulane, and both of them got their colors thanks in part to Mardi Gras and in part to that rivalry. Word has it when the teams went to pick out their colors, the surrounding stores were all stocked up with Mardi Gras purple, green, and gold. Lucky LSU got to the goods first, chose purple and gold, and left all the green to Tulane.
- Is set in Paris or New Orleans: I will (possibly erroneously, but probably not) claim that New Orleans is the king capital of all Mardi Gras celebrations, all over the world. So naturally, one of the goals is to read a book set in this marvelous city. Also, there are a few exceptions, but for the most part Mardi Gras is celebrated in areas with a large French (or French-descended) population. It doesn’t get much more French than ole Paris. (You should totally read “Paris” in a nasally French accent.)
- Has a French character or author: For the same reason in the above bullet. Also I don’t recall seeing books by French authors, or books with French characters in them. It will be fun finding something to meet this particular challenge!
- Is set on, in, or near a large body of water: New Orleans could be a sister city of Atlantis, for as much as it has to do with water. Lake Ponchartrain lies vast and shining to the north, providing an almost oceanic view for an easy third of the city’s outer limits. Lake Borgne cradles New Orleans from the east, taking up nearly another third of the city’s limits. The city is halved by the winding Mississippi River, and is a short distance from myriad other lakes, swamps, and the Gulf of Mexico.
- Involves Greek or Egyptian mythology: Mardi Gras is most definitely about parades here, and krewes are the people that make that happen for the general public. Each krewe (an organization in charge of festivities, whether it be a ball or a parade) has a theme, which they base their parade float styles on, in addition to the overall yearly theme (which spans across all krewes). Some of the more popular individual-based krewe themes revolve around Egyptian or Greek/Roman pantheons.
- Has a king or queen character, or one of either on the cover: Mardi Gras ends with a bang each year – a blowout ball where Rex (the king) and His Royal Consort (the queen) meet with their courts.
- Has a crown, gems/jewels, or doubloons on the cover or in the story: Mardi Gras might be all about parades here, but the parades are all about “throws!” Throws are anything float-riders can toss out to parade-viewers. The most common thing is obviously strings of beads (the gems and jewels). But every now and then you’ll find plastic cups, painted coconuts, toys for children, roses & other flowers, and plastic doubloons.
- Features a jester character: Honestly I’m not quite sure how the jester became linked with Mardi Gras celebrations. I could hazard a guess saying the two are supposed to have fun in common… but jesters are a little creepy, no? Anyway, most times I see one here they’re either painted up like Harley Quinn, or all in Mardi Gras colors!
- Has a masked or feathered character, or masks/feathers on the cover, or characters wearing costumes: One of the most popular adornments for party-goers during Carnival season is feathers. Feathers, feathers, glitter, and more feathers. People dress up in the wildest (and most awesome) costumes just to run errands, nevermind to attend parades or even participate in them! Masquerade balls also happen quite frequently and mask shops are everywhere in touristy parts – but you won’t see many masked people roaming the streets, for whatever reason.
- Has a character that leads a life of excess: Mardi Gras is all about getting the party out of your system before Lent gets here and people begin leading lives of moderation, at least until Easter arrives. Lent is all about spiritual discipline, cleansing the body and spirit of vices. (Essentially Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday, but it’s definitely evolved into something everyone can participate in. Any excuse to party, right?)
- Involves a feast: For the same reason as the point above – feast until it’s time for fasting!
- Has a character going to a party or ball: The season is one big party, and as mentioned above, there are several occasions for balls.
- Involves a carnival (or faire or circus): Mardi Gras is also called “Carnival.” While there aren’t typically rides or circus-type attractions, it may be a much easier find than something that is a better fit for something such as a parade. Besides, the spirit is still there and that’s what really counts.
- Has cake on the cover or being eaten in the story: King cake is a favorite this time of year. If you’ve never had it, it’s comparable to a long oval brioche, swirled with cinnamon sugar and filled with any number of things (cream cheese is a favorite). Thick icing and colored sugars (in purple, green, and gold, of course) go on top, and a plastic baby is hidden inside. Whomever is lucky (luck is debatable) enough to find the baby gets the privilege of hosting a Mardi Gras party for everyone next year. ;)
The Blank Card
Read a book that…
B1: involves Greek mythology
B2: features a jester character
B3: has a mostly purple cover
B4: has a character that leads a life of excess
B5: has a crown on the cover
I1: has gems or jewels on the cover
I2: has a character going to a party
I3: is set in Paris
I4: involves doubloons in the story
I5: has a king character or on the cover
N1: is set in The Big Easy (New Orleans, baby!)
N2: involves Egyptian mythology
N3: FREE SQUARE!
N4: is set on/in/near a large body of water
N5: has a mostly yellow or gold cover
G1: has a character who goes to a ball
G2: has a mask on the cover
G3: involves a carnival (faire/circus)
G4: has a queen character or on the cover
G5: has cake on the cover or being eaten in the story
O1: has a French character or author
O2: has a mostly green cover
O3: involves a feast
O4: has characters wearing costumes
O5: has a feathered character or feathers on the cover
You can see my progress on the card on my Reading Challenges page!
Want to Play?
If you’re participating in the Bingo challenge, I’d love for you to let me know! I’ll keep track here of all the players so we can help each other out if we get stuck on any squares. Other readers are always a great source for finding those tough books.