Boeuf Gras
There have been pre-Lenten feasts and celebrations since the
Middle Ages.  One of the oldest and most popular symbols
associated with these customs is the
Boeuf Gras or fatted bull,
representing the last meat eaten before the Lenten season.
In New Orleans, a live bull covered with flower garlands marched
in the Krewe of Rex parade on Mardi Gras day from 1871 to 1900.
For some reason, after that, the
Boeuf Gras disappeared.  He didn't
show himself again until 1959 and this version wasn't the real
thing, but an artistic renditon in paper-mache.
His appearance has been improved through the years, and he is
now animated - snorting and smoking his way down the parade route.
But he's been in every Rex parade for the last half-century-plus and
is a beloved fixture.  People look forward to seeing the
Boeuf Gras
float almost as much as they look forward to seeing King Rex himself.
Mardi Gras, 1959:  The Boeuf Gras makes a comeback after 59 years.
Photo Credits:
Weather.Underground,  Baltimore.Sun    

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