monthly “You are not alone.”
KREWES, KING CAKE, AND CULTURE T he F ascinating H istory of M ardi G ras
FROM THE DESK OF
WHYYOU SHOULDN’T USE AN OFF-THE- SHELF POWER OF ATTORNEY
A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to act for you if you become incapacitated. Without a powerful power of attorney, your loved ones would not be able to make decisions for you or manage your finances without asking the court to appoint a guardian or conservator, which is an expensive and time- consuming process. Even if you do everything exactly right, some banks and other institutions may not accept them. Many banks or other financial institutions have their own standard power of attorney forms. To avoid problems, you should execute the forms offered by the institutions with which you have accounts. Be careful that you don’t sign a bank’s document that inadvertently restricts a power of attorney’s ability to deal with other assets. Also, check that any documents you sign with a bank match the original power of attorney. There are do-it-yourself power of attorney forms available; however, you should have an attorney draft yours.
Unlike most holidays, Mardi Gras is associated with a place as much as it is a time. When people think of Mardi Gras, they automatically think of New Orleans. The celebration, held on a Tuesday in either February or March, is a point of pride for NOLA residents but is often misunderstood by the general public. Here’s what you need to know about America’s most regional holiday.
Mardi Gras doesn’t follow the traditional holiday calendar patterns we’re familiar with. It doesn’t fall on a static date, like Christmas, or a specific day within a month, like Memorial Day. Instead, it follows the pattern of Easter, which is based on a more complicated formula. Easter takes place on the Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox (the start of spring). An ecclesiastical full moon, as opposed to a regular full moon, is determined by Catholic church tables, not by lunar patterns. While that part is pretty complex, determining the date of Mardi Gras is much easier: It’s 47 days before Easter. As such, it can fall on any Tuesday between Feb. 3 and March 9, hence the name Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.”
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While New Orleans is undoubtedly the place everyone associates with Mardi Gras, it is not where the holiday originated in America. That honor belongs to Mobile, Alabama, which organized the first widespread Mardi Gras celebrations in 1703. As more people moved to New Orleans, which became the capital of Louisiana in 1723, the holiday took root there.
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