In carnival time, I usually talk to my students about famous carnivals in the english speaking world! My most favourite one is Mardi Gras!
First, I explain to students what Mardi Gras is and why people celebrate it.
I discuss traditions, festivities and vocabulary associated with Mardi Gras.
I explain the colors of Mardi Gras and what they stand for. In 1892, the Krewe of Rex carried out a Mardi Gras parade whose theme was “Symbolism of Colors.” Green, gold and purple were used. Rex interpreted purple as being symbolic of justice. Green represented faith and gold symbolized power.
Today’s Mardi Gras colors are everywhere: on banners, costumes, masks, beads and colored sugar on king cakes.
Some more things I tell them , can be found below…..
What is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Carnival, and even Pancake Day, in the UK, is an annual festival falling just before Lent. It traditionally marks the last opportunity for fun and feasting before 40 days of “self-denial”. Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French.
Festivities begin at the beginning of February, leading up to Mardi Gras day, and consist of parades, dancing in the street, costumes and masked balls. The modern Carnival tradition developed in Europe in the Middle ages, and is celebrated mainly in Roman Catholic communities in Europe and the Americas today. Some of the most famous celebrations are held in Nice (France), Cologne (Germany), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and New Orleans (USA)
When is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras will be celebrated on 4th March 2014.
Later, I either play games or ask them to make some items, following the instructions below and bring them to our school carnival party! This year, I have asked them to make:
Mardi Gras Cup Shakers
Green and purple paint
Dried beans or rice
Gold star stickers
Sticky tapeInstructions:Paint one cup purple and one green.Leave to dry and then decorate with stickers.Fill one cup about 1/3 full of rice or bean. Turn the other cup upside down and tape securely together.
Shake and enjoy!
Mardi Gras bottle Shakers
Purple and green acrylic paints
Glitter, ribbon, sequins and/or beads in Mardi Gras colours
Dried beans, lentils or similarInstructions:Using the acrylic paints, decorate the outside of the plastic water bottles in whatever design you choose.When the paint is dry, decorate your “shaker” further using glitter, ribbons, sequins or beads. Let the children really go for it!Drop a small number of beans into the bottle (make sure the inside is completely dry first!) and close the lid firmly. Now, shake, rattle and roll!
Mardi Gras Necklace
Purple and green poster or acrylic paints
Gold acrylic or spray paint.
Shoelaces, yarn or string.
Please make sure that the pasta is completely dry before you let the kids put their necklaces on!
Mardi Gras Jester Hat
Kids will have fun making and wearing this fun, floppy Mardi Gras jester hat!
Purple and green paper
Stapler (optional)Instructions:Cut 3 arches of each colour from the paper.Lay your gold card in front of you, face down. Arrange your arches so they stick over the top of the card. Tape into place along the back of the card.Turn your headband over. Roll up each arch and then allow to open again, so that they curve down.Cut 6 circles from the scraps of gold card and glue these to the ends of the arches.Bend your crown around so it fits your head and staple or tape to secure.
This is a great National Geographic Video , about Mardi Gras in New Orleans -to watch with your older students.