Sunday, September 28, 2008

Passing into Carnival Season

With the end of September comes the realization that fall is now into full bloom. Fall means the changing of foliage and the preparation for winter-like weather in other areas of the country. The first snows of the season were already dusting the mountaintops in Alaska in advance of fall two weeks ago when I was there. But here in New Orleans fall doesn't really manifest itself until much later when most of the northern and eastern sections of the country are well within the throes of winter. While it may not be obvious as the leaves on the trees, what we do observe is the beginning of the Carnival Season. "Carnival? Isn't that in winter? " I can hear many of inquire. The short answer is yes. Carnival or Mardi Gras always falls in February or March. But the planning for the next year almost always begins immediately after it has passed. The first evidence that Carnival is fast approaching is the coronation ball season, the time that is approaching. This is the time when all of the Carnival krewes begin to announce just who will be in the royal court for the ensuing year. Over the course of the next month or so all of the kings, queens, maids and dukes will be finalized and revealed at lovely events in area hotels. It is a time when the captain of the organization has great fun in making the reveal public to the other members of his or her krewe. Meanwhile, for me it's not quite time to hear the herald calls that announce the arrival of royalty, but to listen instead for the blasts of the shofar that will signify that Rosh Hashanah is here.

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