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Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is the last day of the Carnival season and this year it falls on March 5. In Christian tradition, rich, fatty foods were eaten before the ritual fasting for Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. In the USA, New Orleans hosts the most famous Mardi Gras celebrations while Brazil is renowned for its spectacular Rio Carnival.

Venice in Italy celebrates Carnevale, meaning “farewell to meat” which is not eaten for 40 days before Easter. Masks have always been an important feature of the carnival celebrations allowing revelers to escape the constraints of polite society. See all the revelers in the Carnival & Cabaret exhibit at WMODA.

Shane Ridge began modeling a collection of Carnival figures for Royal Doulton in 2005, beginning with Venetian Masquerade and continuing with Mardi Gras and Rio Carnival. There were four serially numbered prestige pieces in each set and they are now difficult to find. Masqueraders have been an important feature of the HN collection since the 1920s when Leslie Harradine modeled the masked flappers of the Jazz age and the masquerade balls of the 18th century.

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Carnival and Cabaret Exhibition