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Adventurer Fever World Nomads Travel Film Scholarship: New Orleans and Mardi Gras 2014!

Freedom For Fun

ARGENTINA | Saturday, 19 April 2014 | Views [1293]

"Mardi Gras is just a celebration of being alive and all the magical things that happen in our city and in our world... Is like the time that you can be the person that you always wanted to be, not actually who you are. I feel that this is the difference here, that people always talk about being who you are, but this is like being who you really want to be, and there is a huge difference in that”.

Waking up at 7am in the morning and hearing that you are heading to the Red Beans & Rice parade could sound like somebody playing with your few hours of sleep in the last week of filming. But not in New Orleans. Actually, it  actually means that you will be in the middle of a bunch of crazy people walking around the city like they were red-beaned flamingos, a riced baby-hand-DJ or a rice&beaned Cleopatra.

And being right there, in the middle of all these amazing costumes and not having one yourself can make you feel like an idiot. This is exactly what happened to me. I was told that the Red Beans & Rice parade was just about a group of happy people being even happier while sharing an experience together.

How does it work? “I can be a flamingo if I really want to be, it is not who I am, obviously. And you are totally embraced for this short period of time, and it´s fantastic. It is sort of a combination of what inspires you for that year and something that inspires you. Then you figure out how to make it into what you feel right now”. So once you have followed your whim for this year´s parade you start collecting red beans and rice. It´s important to be aware that most of the people spend at least 2 or 3 months working in their costumes before Lundi Gras - you can't just leave it for the last day! It will take some hard work, but when your piece of art is done you will be ready for this incredible experience.  

When flamingos, magicians, aliens, tigers, Pacmans and other indecipherable oddfellows all meet at one corner of the Bywater - the party is ready to go. The marching band starts playing some itinerant jazz...and the rest is just dancing your ass off the way you imagine your weird creation - let´s say a centipede -  would love to dance. Of course it´s all about having fun, but you don't want to get dehydrated. Many stops in different little bars are already planned to be sure everybody in the parade has a few beers and a spot of crazy dancing while the band is playing inside. And when the tank is full again, back to the streets.

What is it so special about Mardi Gras? “That you can dress like this and everybody thinks that is normal. It´s freedom for fun. It will be boring when you go home”.


Tags: mardi gras, new orleans, parades, red beans & rice

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