For hundreds of years, the French-speaking world has celebrated the festival of Mardi Gras with parades, masquerade balls, floats, dancing, feasting, and even with the tossing of fish. The French 1 and 2 classes at Vineland High School North had a small taste of the celebration with their teacher Madame Shannon King Norton.
On February 25, Mardi Gras, students entered the classroom, which was decorated in Mardi Gras finery straight from New Orleans, and began class by tasting red velvet cake, to substitute for the kings cake, and a student who found the king drawn under his or her plate was crowned king of the class.
Next the students were asked questions about how Mardi Gras, also known as Carnival, is celebrated throughout the world. If they answered correctly, they received prizes of beads or candy, which Madame tossed to them like they were parade-goers. Students took turns responding so that chaos did not reign, but at the end of class, Madame threw candy to them, mimicking the spirit of the Mardi Gras parades.
French 1 student Ryan Maderia commented, “It is exciting to try and catch the gifts and candies being thrown.”
Kimpreet Kaur, also a French 1 student, summed up the day: “Mardi Gras is an amazing holiday because people are so respectful of what they’re celebrating compared to just partying without any thought.” Students shared their experiences throughout the day with several members of the high school populatuon, disseminating their knowledge and enthusiasm for the culture of the French.