Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) in Ithaca

Post snow day weather has been nice. It was a momentous day yesterday because the temperature went above 0 °C for the first time since I’ve been here. The weather has stayed incredibly nice since, hovering around freezing point. Although the ground is now wet with slush, it’s nice! The wind has been kinder too. I just hope the weather stays this way. I heard that just before spring comes in late March, winter will bow out with a last hurrah and wreak some havoc. Maybe another snowstorm and another day of canceled classes!

Melting icicles in Ithaca

Tuesday night was Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday. Celebrated in many Western countries, it’s famous for its street parades, costume parties and such, as a day of partying before Lent. We decided to go out that night to see how the locals celebrate Mardi Gras.

We stopped at Y’s place first at the Commons for some wine. It is fast turning into a habit. I met L, who is Y’s neighbor. She goes to IC too and apparently undergraduates above 23 years old get free college education. How nice for her!

Ithaca College friends

Ithaca being a college town, the occasion was mostly marked by bar hopping, and the only difference between that night and any other weekend was earning bead necklaces to hang around your neck. Tradition seemed to be lost among the craziness of the partying.

Partying on Mardi Gras in Ithaca

We were at Micawber’s Pub, a cozy little place at the Commons with really cheap drinks. We were standing around holding our coats, there was just nowhere we could put them down. There were no seats at all, save for at the bar. At the back of the pub, there is a pool table, and a separate section where people go to smoke.

Mardi Gras partying in IthacaN gets red easily. I thought the Japanese drink so much sake that they would have a high tolerance for alcohol. Maybe they turn red easily due to their fair skin. According to N, the normal content in sake is about 20%. Anyway, I’ve been craving Japanese food. I’ve been to one restaurant with N, but it was a teppanyaki place (hibachi), which seems more popular than sushi here. I had tempura and the servings were ginormous!

J lent me her beads for a bit that night. At Mardi Gras parades, which are especially wild in the southern cities, people dress up and they put on masquerade masks. It is supposed to be a religious festival but I think most people forget the tradition behind it – much like many other festivities in the world nowadays.

The night ended with us grabbing a slice of pizza before heading back home semi-sloshed but with a really fun night out in Ithaca under our belts.

Pizza in Ithaca Commons

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