By Randee Schmitt
When people hear the words “Mardi Gras” most have visions of beads and food and parties. But this year, the Language Clubs at Madison went back to the more historic side of Mardi Gras as they celebrated on Feb 12.
“Mardi Gras is a European custom that dates back to Roman times,” German teacher Arleen Torres said. “It’s actually a pagan celebration that the Catholic Church overtook like so many other traditions. Before you begin lent you celebrate, usually a week before or two weeks before, it depends on the country. This is a time where you wear costumes, you go dancing, they have parades, there are parties where you eat a lot, and you drink, all because once lent starts you’re giving up all of that.”
Held in the school cafeteria, Torres felt there was “quite a turnout” with many students from the Spanish, German, and French clubs in attendance. Junior Vincent Amicone referred to the function as “a cultural celebration”.
“We had each club bring food that is representative from the culture they represent,” Torres said. “We also had games such as musical chairs, we had hula hoops, we did jump ropes, and we had a competition for the most original costume, the most beautiful costume, the funniest costume, the ugliest costume, and so on.”
What started as a way to celebrate a cultural tradition ended as a chance for students to interact with different groups and enjoy learning the history of an ancient holiday.
“The whole thing was a lot of fun,” junior Nina Herrera said. “There were so many people and it was memorable because you met new people and made new friends you probably never knew existed.”