Mardi Gras at PLHS


When you first think of Mardi Gras, you instantly think of an archetypal New Orleans celebration. With its glitter, parades, masks, cakes, and gold, purple, and green beads, “Fat Tuesday” is quite the sight to see. However a far lesser known Mardi Gras tradition happens each year here at PLHS: a ‘crêpe fest’ held by French Club, with Spanish and German club as its guests.

Mardi Gras marks a day of indulgence and celebration before the somber days of fasting and reflection during Lent, a Catholic tradition interwoven into the cultures of many countries throughout Europe and beyond. 

Though the tradition of Mardi Gras has been alive as early as the 1600s, 7 years ago the Monarchs adopted their own version, one that continued on February 24th, 2022. 

“We typically do the crêpe fest and then sometimes during French club we’ll make masks or decorate little shaker jars,” Madame Halligan, the sole French teacher and French Club sponsor, said. “This year Mardi Gras is next week but…we always do the crêpes the week before since there’s spring sports starting.” 

Per tradition, French, Spanish, and German Club all met in the Culinary room for a lively party eating crepes, drinking soda, and laughing.
“In many ways our languages may be different, however what we teach, how we teach, what we expect is very similar, and our cultures may be different but they do have a lot of..similarities,” Halligan said. 

Indeed, all three countries, Spain, France, and Germany, hold a pre-Lent Carnival, or, as the Germans call it, Karneval, naturally lending to a celebration including all of the foreign language clubs. 

“I really, really like [joining with the other clubs],” Spanish Club member Evie Brilz said. “It allows for me to learn not just one culture, but other cultures as well and be more open to [them].”

It’s this idea of cultural exchange that is at the heart of all foreign language club celebrations, especially the ones where all three join together.  

“The most important thing is that students need to know people are more alike us than they are not,” Halligan said. “It teaches kids tolerance, empathy…and gets rid of stereotypes and prejudices.”

While not as sparkly and robust as a Louisiana Mardi Gras, French Club’s annual party provided an opportunity for students to get to know each other, and the diverse culture of our world, a little better.