The French Club opened the spring semester with its second annual
Mardi Gras crêpe sale. The crêpes were all made and
sold by members of Le cercle français. Students were very
pleased and grateful for the help they received, and the sale was
a huge success, attracting people from all corners of our campus
through the aroma of freshly heated crêpes and their delicious
toppings. These tastes and smells would be just a prelude to the
party that followed the evening of Mardi Gras itself…
Not Just a Donut!
On Tuesday, February 8th, the foreign language department gathered
in the ML Underground to celebrate Fastnacht. There was food,
drink and fun, as each separate language was well represented.
Representatives from each language class gave presentations about
the festivities around the world.
Marita Reeder encouraged her students to dress for Fastnacht…
and many joined her in doing so!
In Germany, the people all along the Rhine and in Bavaria take
months to celebrate the occasion. For numerous weeks before Lent,
the Germans enjoy traditional festivities. Only days before Lent
begins, the celebration culminates in a giant event, complete
with parades and masquerade balls.
Prior to the departmental party, Professor Reeder told our class
about the traditional festivities and merry-making in Germany.
Twice she came to class in costume to get us in the mood and to
give us ideas about what to wear for Fastnacht, Carneval, or Fasching…
a festival of many names and much tradition.
--Jennifer Fry, ‘08
Carnaval is the second collaborative event of the Chapel
and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
Like the fall Día de los Muertos, or Mexican Day
of the Dead / All Souls’ Day, Carnaval blends a spiritual
base with traditions intimately woven into popular culture.
In the Christian calendar, Carnevale marks a final moment
of abandon, the final chance to eat, drink, and make merry
before the solemn time of reflection that is Lent. Its roots
are much older, going back at least as far as the ancient
Roman festivities known as Saturnalia, Lupercalia, and Bacchanalia
that were celebrated to alleviate the doldrums of winter
and as propitiatory ceremonies for the upcoming rebirth
of nature. We thank Chaplain Peter Bredlau for his generous
and ongoing support of our cultural events!