Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Happy Fat Tuesday

I can't believe it's that time of the year again. It came too early this year. I even forgot the three days of Baoutha. Sis, don't tell my parents. I don't need them to lecture me at age 38.

As usual, New Orleans has the best celebrations for the day. For Australian readers, this Mardi Gras is very different than Sydney's Mardi Gras parade.

It's hard to think of what to give up for this Lent. I decided to give up eating out. In other words, I'm giving up eating kobab. Yes, I love kobab A LOT. Last year, I gave up rice and bread. That was really a bad idea. It's like asking a fish to live out of water. It didn't work well. I cheated a bit.

My husband doesn't participate in religious rituals. So, he dreads this time of the year. Sorry dear, it's for better and for worse. That's how it works.

In Iraq, Lent starts on a Monday. We don't have Ash Wednesday. I got accustomed to the Western calender after moving to Australia. While growing up in Basrah before Iran-Iraq war, part of the Christian community in Basrah would have a big picnic at Al-Sindbad Island on Monday to celebrate the day before Lent. You can think about it as a tiny version of Fat Tuesday without the parade.

Have a nice Fat Tuesday. If you're from New Orleans, enjoy the celebrations.

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