St. Charles Herald-Guide

Mardi Gras helps build our spirits

Our View - February 7, 2013

If Southeast Louisiana hasnít had enough excitement with the Super Bowl flexing its muscles in our area, we must now face our spiritual lift of the year as Mardi Gras enters.

Of course, other areas in the homestead of carnival activities have already had parades this year. St. Charles Parish saves its celebration until the last weekend before the big event, which gravitates into the big city next door for the final two days.

We are a two-parade parish confined to the Saturday-Sunday weekend before. And it works out well that we can celebrate on the weekend with our neighbors and friends in the area and then move on to bigger surroundings as the climax approaches.

After all, New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro are the primary presenters of carnival and few people disagree with that. And that is where the action flows on the day before Lent.

Mardi Gras is not designed to be a pagan festival as some critics claim. It is a local celebration here - and in the Crescent City - to precede the solemn season of Lent, which many of our residents respect as a prayerful interlude in their lives.

We need to break up those lives with joyous periods that make our solemn sessions more meaningful. And that is what Mardi Gras does.

So join with your neighbors and friends along the parade routes and make friendly associations with native residents of St. Charles that Mardi Gras is supposed to instigate. And then continue into the rest of the year when those associations should blend into a beneficial enjoyment that makes living in St. Charles an even greater experience.

Yes, Mardi Gras can be a very positive celebration that not only brings joy to the area but also brings togetherness to people. And that is beneficial to our existence, wherever we live.