Dating pete doughtry
Now mostly a secularized holiday, Mardi Gras in New Orleans has evolved from a celebration for locals into an iconic, internationally recognized spectacle.
There is no pinpointing the origins of the celebration known today as Carnival or Mardi Gras.
(Ecstasy is derived from Greek words meaning “to stand outside of oneself.”) As the mythic personification of the ecstatic experience, of the propensity to seek delight in the here and now, Dionysus is, in a sense, the unofficial patron god of Carnival.
Also apropos of Carnival, he was a democratic, egalitarian and accessible god — his cult was universal; anyone could join in the festivities. Not only did Hebrews worship him in Roman times, notes Barbara Ehrenreich in her book , but, “[a]ccording to the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, the worship of gods resembling Dionysus ranged over five thousand miles, from Portugal through North Africa to India, with the god appearing under various names.” (He shares many characteristics, for instance, with the Hundu god Shiva.) Dionysus had a special relationship with humans, for it was through him they could achieve communion with the divine and apprehend immortality directly.
Wine, then, became everywhere in the classical world a medium of religious experience.” In her Great Courses lecture on classical mythology for The Teaching Company, Classics professor Elizabeth Vandiver observes that Dionysus, as “a god whose domains include possession, behavior inconsistent with one’s normal character — acting out of things that one would not normally do — is an appropriate god to be associated with a theatrical tradition in which the actors wore masks — in which an actor actually put on the face of another character before taking part in a drama.” It also makes him the most appropriate god to be associated with Carnival.
Because Carnival offers a way to step outside of oneself, to assume personae and indulge alter egos, to lose oneself in the moment and revel in collective rapture.
Whereupon, Zeus snatched the Dionysus’ embryo from Semele’s womb and implanted it in his own thigh, from whence he was born some time later.
Supposedly it was because of this gestation within the body of Zeus that Dionysus turned out to be a god.
Early Christianity was itself an ecstatic religion, a suppressed cult in which enraptured dancing, carnivalesque behavior and charismatic forms of worship, i.e., speaking in tongues, were accepted.Dionysus, by contrast, was not worshiped for ulterior reasons (to increase the crops or win the war) but for the sheer joy of the rite itself.” Another aspect of Dionysus that makes him unique among the gods: He was the product of a sexual union between Zeus, the great patriarch of the Olympian gods, and a mortal named Semele.This did not sit well with Zeus’s divine consort, Hera.Disguised as Semele’s old nanny, Hera convinced Semele that she needed proof that her lover was indeed Zeus and that she should ask him to reveal himself to her in his full glory, as he would appear on Mount Olympus.When Zeus did so, at Semele’s request, she was incinerated in a puff of smoke.