The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

SAN DIEGO’S TAKE ON THE BIG EASY: MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION MOVES WEST

RYAN DOWNS
PRIDE STAFF WRITER

Mardi Gras, easily among the wildest holidays ever conceived, arrives in San Diego today, March 8 and is sure to draw in mass amounts of college students and people looking to have a good time.

Famous the world over for insane and raucous celebrations generally centered in major cities, this famous festival is back and coming to San Diego, whether we’re ready or not. Mardi Gras may not be as well-known to some people as Christmas, Halloween or other holidays that our parents deemed more appropriate for us growing up, so for those caught up in the confusion of this mad event, here is a general guide.

A French holiday, Mardi Gras translated to “Fat Tuesday” in English is the most famous of many “pre-Lent” celebrations held through Europe and is believed to hold its ancestry in a Roman holiday called Lupercalia. The Catholic Church, believing this tradition to be pagan, transformed it into the holiday. Although the celebration depends on the area, the general concept of Mardi Gras is to provide a festival for Christians who wish to indulge themselves before they fast for Lent. When European immigrants brought the celebration to America in the late 17th century, it found a home in New Orleans, which the French governed until 1763. To this day, New Orleans is famous for holding Mardi Gras celebrations, dedicating entire streets to the event. It is hard to adequately explain the festivities of Mardi Gras, but parades, costumes, king cakes and alcohol consumption are images the public associates with Mardi Gras.

As the holiday is not nationally recognized and features festivities deemed controversial, only a handful of cities in the country celebrate the holiday. San Diego celebrates Fat Tuesday, today March 8, the day before Ash Wednesday. The most publicized is a corporate-sponsored celebration set to take place in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, which has been home to the largest Mardi Gras celebration on the west coast for 17 years. Patrons can buy tickets $25 advance tickets online or $20 at the gate. The celebration involves a masquerade parade and live performances by famous DJs like Lee Burridge, Sharam and The Crystal Method. Hillcrest also holds its own Mardi Gras festivities. Both events are restricted to patrons ages 21 and up.



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