Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, and the Bunn Ultra-2

Happy March. March 2011 is chock full of religious holidays that have grown into cultural phenomena: Ash Wednesday and St. Patrick’s Day. You might think to yourself, “I don’t think that Ash Wednesday could really be considered a cultural phenomenon.” This might be, but I’m sure you have heard of the festival that precedes Ash Wednesday – Mardi Gras. “Oh yes” you say. You have heard of it. But you might wonder, “How on earth does a ginormous party in which everyone eats cajun food, imbibes enough alcohol to kill a horse, dances around (half-)naked, and engages in other such debaucheries have any relation to a religious festival?” I’m glad you asked.

Mardi Gras Mask

In order to understand the origins of Mardi Gras, you must first have a general understanding of Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is the 46 days (40 days not including Sundays) that precede Easter. Christians have historically used Lent as a time to abstain from meat or other pleasures as a means of looking forward to Good Friday and Easter (the most significant days of the Christian calendar). Somewhere along the line in the history of Christendom, someone thought: “Well, since we are going to give up our favorite foods for the next 46 days, let’s enjoy them today.” Thus, was born Fat Tuesday. It initially started as a feast, but it soon devolved into the utter chaos that is Mardi Gras. In a similar way, St. Patrick’s Day, which honors a British guy named Patrick that forgave the Irish people that enslaved him as a teenager, has simply become a day where everyone pretends to be Irish and dyes everything green.

St. Patrick Cross

Thus far, you’re probably thinking that I’m being quite the party pooper, but this is not the case at all. In fact, I’m all for celebrating the feast days as long as they are properly understood (and you don’t end up acting like a fool). So, by all means eat a great meal next Tuesday and wear green and spend time with friends on St. Patrick’s Day. Just be responsible.

So, why a blog post about Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day on a restaurant equipment blog? Good question. In honor of the festivities of this month, we at Prima have put the Bunn Ultra-2 Frozen Drink Machine at a ridiculously low sale price, and since I am the resident history geek, I was asked to give a little context to Mardi Gras. So, check out the Bunn Ultra-2 and the Bunn Ultra-2 High Performance machines. You can make all sorts of frozen drink goodness for this month, and for the summer which is fast approaching.

Bunn Ultra-2

Mardis Gras and St. Patrick’s Day Dates:

Fat Tuesday:

  • March 8, 2011
  • February 21, 2012
  • February 12, 2013
  • March 4, 2014
  • February 17, 2015
  • St. Patrick’s Day is always March 17