Carnival season is an annual period of public revelry traditionally beginning on Twelfth Night (January 6), and culminating on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), and is thought to have its origins in primitive times as a way of celebrating the new year, return of the sun, and rebirth of nature. For us, it began in the Anza-Borrego Desert with gorgeous sunrises that make it worthwhile to leave a warm bed before the crack of dawn, quickly throw on clothes and scamper out of the Airstream Safari with a Nikon camera* in hand to capture the moment.*
Larry had gotten up even earlier and was chatting with Monica from San Diego with her rescue dogs Gus & Bali (whom we have seen here on two other occasions).
After my photo shoot, I dashed back into the trailer to get warm and brew coffee.* I love the aroma of coffee steaming up from the filter and glistening in the morning sun. (They have a lot of coffee in Brazil per The Coffee Song sung by Frank Sinatra)* (In the background of the photo below are homegrown Mexican limes from Monica’s garden.)
For years we have enjoyed deliciously rich San Francisco Bay French Roast Whole Bean Coffee, available at Costco and made by the socially responsible Rogers Family Company,* who run their own coffee farms and mills. As the sun rose and the air warmed, I enjoyed this coffee, along with panettone (seen below)* and apple and orange slices at the picnic table festooned with carnival beads, masks, and Mardi Gras colors of purple (justice), gold (power), and green (faith).
Venetian masks, such as the Commedia dell’Arte mask (seen above) re-emerged in 16th-century Italy and became the emblem of Carnevale di Venezia,* and allowed people to feel free and able to express themselves regardless of social class. Carnival was outlawed by the fascist government in the 1930s and it was not until a modern mask shop was founded in the 1980s that Carnival enjoyed a revival. “People dress up because they need moments of freedom,” says artist mask maker Sergio Boldrin.* (Enjoy the spirit and beauty of the masks and this season by viewing Mysterious masks of Venice masquerade*)
The jester character is the most popular costume for Mardi Gras. Jesters often wear a motley costume of bright colors, especially the Mardi Gras colors, and a distinctive hat with floppy points with jingle bells. Jesters are often seen laughing and holding a mock scepter. (See The Jester; Court Jester or a Fool!*) Larry enjoyed sewing jester style floppy points together for a costume collar for our corgi Mac.
Meanwhile, I enjoyed another hike. This time I joined Monica for a hike up Agua Caliente County Park’s Desert Overlook Trail, which features views of the entire park and surrounding desert floor as seen in “It’s cooking up in the desert, again!”
At sunset we lit on our festive wreath celebrating the return of the sun…*
The next full moon will occur on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar and will mark the celebration of the Chinese Lantern Festival,* the final day of the lunar new year celebrations.* 2017 is the Year of the Fire Rooster.* (See your Chinese zodiac horoscope prediction!)*
Encore song: Emma Shapplin – Spente Le Stelle*
*This is a link to a YouTube video.