What's that? You've never heard of Lundi Gras? Well, quelle surprise, since it really isn't a holiday! And you can confirm this by looking it up on Wikipedia, which isn't really an encyclopedia, so that settles it!
Lundi Gras is one of those "Hallmark holiday" kind of marketing schemes dreamed up several years ago by
a greedy marketing tyrant tradition-minded city leaders to bilk the tourists out of every possible dollar extend the celebration and spirit of Mardi Gras! Literally "Fat Monday", the term has come to mean, simply, the Monday before Mardi Gras.
The "official" Lundi Gras celebration takes place along the riverfront, with bands, entertainment, and gradually expanding crowds that peak around sunset, when the King of Rex and the Zulu King come across the river by boat and meet at Spanish Plaza for a celebratory toast.
Nowadays, people celebrate Lundi Gras all over the city, and Boy G and his old pal John from back home spent the late morning and early afternoon walking the French Quarter and watching the city gear up for the party. Jackson Square was already gathering quite a crowd by mid day, with the usual artists and street performers joined by still more bible thumping christians and self-proclaimed missionaries.
The party spilled from the Square and Bourbon Street all up and down Royal, the usually reserved, daytime pedestrian street that is home to many of the cities finest antique and art dealers. Today, however, the street was filled with street performers, musicians, mimes, and such, of varying qualities and talents. The tourists were clearly into it, and rewarded them with attention, photos, and generous tips!!
Almost every balcony in the quarter had people with beads bargaining with the crowd below for a glimpse of this or that. Spirited tourists frequented the balconies of hotels and guest houses with cases of beads, boas, and other throws to taunt the passersby.
In the more residential areas of the Quarter, families and locals drank, entertained, and just soaked in the party atmosphere.
And, of course, in the gay section of the quarter, men with beads on the balconies taunted boys with bodies below, offering the largest, most luxurious strands of beads to the boys who showed the most!
It is truly impossible to be anywhere in the city and not be sucked into the spirit of the celebration! Booze flows, beads fly, but mostly, EVERYONE wishes one another "Happy Mardi Gras" at the world's largest party!