Today’s Editorial February 04: Be responsible this Mardi Gras

Wednesday marks the start of high holy season for the Christian community.

Here in the Cayman Islands it is also a public holiday – Ash Wednesday.

Those who live in North Side can expect heavy traffic as revellers from across the Island make the trek to Kaibo to participate in Mardi Gras events.

If you’ve never been to the Mardi Gras happenings at Kaibo you’ve missed a grand treat.

Folks dress up in fancy costume and indulge in food drink.

Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday, also called Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day.

We don’t celebrate Mardi Gras on the actual Tuesday here because it is not a public holiday.

But Ash Wednesday is.

Mardi Gras is the final day of Carnival, which begins 12 days after Christmas, or Twelfth Night, on 6 January and ends on Mardi Gras, which always falls exactly 47 days before Easter.

The cities most famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations include New Orleans, Louisiana, Venice, Italy and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many other places have important Mardi Gras celebrations as well.

Traditionally Mardi Gras is the time to get in those final indulgences before Lent.

In most Christian denominations Lent is the 40-day liturgical season of fasting and prayer before Easter. It represents the time Jesus spent in the desert where he endured temptation from Satan.

There will be many people celebrating Mardi Gras at Kaibo. Many will come by ferry and most will travel by car.

This year the organisers of Mardi Gras at Kaibo have arranged for a parking area just before the turnoff to Kaibo. Shuttle services will be available.

We implore those who travel by car to take advantage of this free service. Last year many people parked on either side of Water Cay Road leading in to Kaibo, making it difficult for people to leave and enter the event, and worse, causing problems for emergency personnel to get through.

If you take part in the Mardi Gras celebration at Kaibo this year, have fun, but please be responsible.

If you’re going there to drink, please don’t drive.

Let us begin this Easter season without death on our roadways.