Get Ready for Twelfth Night: The Best Ways to Welcome Carnival Season
Twelfth Night is celebrated annually on Jan. 5. It is the last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas and is the traditional end of the Christmas season. It is also known as Epiphany Eve as it is followed by Epiphany on Jan. 6, the first day of the Carnival season here in New Orleans – the day we start eating King Cake each year.
On Monday, Chef Chaya Conrad of Bywater Bakery (3624 Dauphine St., 504-336-3336) will host her 4th Annual King’s Day King Cake Kick-Off with eight amazing flavors of king cakes, including two new ones for the 2020 season. The luscious King Cakes will be available whole, by the slice or for curbside pick-up for pre-orders. Among the offerings are traditional Creole cream cheese, Ponchatoula strawberry, a blend of strawberry and cream cheese, Bavarian cream, pecan praline, cinnamon apple, Cajun Bouille Custard, and Bywater Berry Chantilly.
Also on Monday, the Krewe of Joan of Arc is celebrating its namesake’s birthday. The annual medieval-themed theatrical procession takes its inspiration from Joan’s time in 1400s France when she liberated the citizens of Orleans, France, from a British siege in her first victory in 1429, earning her the title “The Maid of Orleans.” The short, family-friendly parade is quirky, whimsical and spiritual and parade-goers are encouraged to bring king cake to share. The parade starts on time at 7 p.m. at the corner of Bienville, proceeds through the French Quarter with a few stops along the way and wraps by 8:30 p.m. To see the full route visit the krewe’s website.
Every year on Twelfth Night, the Phunny Phorty Phellows (PPP) herald the arrival of Carnival with a “Carnival Countdown” then they load up on a streetcar at the Willow Streetcar Bar on S. Carrollton for raucous ride up and down the entire St. Charles Streetcar line. Crowds gather along the tracks to cheer, wave and catch the first beads of the season during this free and fabulous spectacle. The PPP streetcar will roll from the barn at 7 p.m., more or less.
Next Saturday, Jan. 11, the St. John Fools of Misrule will take to the streets (and bars) of historic Covington to welcome the Carnival season on the North Shore. The krewe, which is open to all, has grown dramatically in the nine years since it as founded to provide official Twelfth Night merrymaking on the north shore. Its rituals come from an ancient English men’s group whose members once clamored along old streets with cowbells and whips while doling out jeers and spankings. The Fools celebrate the historic St. John District of old Covington, which dates to the early 1800’s). The walk will begin at 4 p.m. and end whenever at the Seiler Bar on Columbia Street in downtown Covington. And in between, the Fools will march to the Covington Trailhead, select the season’s Lord of Fools and welcome the Mardi Gras season at various taverns in the St. John District. Visit sit foolsofmisrule.com.
Have a great weekend and a wonderful new year, everyone. Use it to celebrate the people and the community you love .