Mardi Gras Qingdao Expat Charity Gala
On March 18th, the day after my birthday, we met with fellow expats and friends, for the 2017 Qingdao Expat Charity Gala. This was the first year that Justin and I decided to join this charity event. Money raised from the tickets and raffle were donated to various charities supported by this awesome charity. Check out their website here: Qingdao Expat Charity.
“Proceeds raised during the event will help local children in the Qingdao area supplement school tuition and provide financial assistance for children in need of medical attention, specifically congenital heart disease. The Qingdao Expat Charity is entirely dependent on donations and completely run by volunteers. The Charity supports over 65 students at schools in Jimo, Pingdu, and Laishi. Over the last year, the Charity has supported 6 children in need of heart operations. With your help, the Qingdao Expat Charity can continue to make a difference in the lives of these children.”
All Part of the Birthday Weekend
Since it was my birthday weekend, we really wanted to go all out! We bought masks, feather boas, a new dress and even new shoes for me. Arriving at the hotel, and seeing our friends all dressed up and ready to celebrate, really was a treat! We all stood around in a foyer enjoying cocktails and appetizers, before moving into the hall to be seated.
Our friends, Michael and Elisabeth, joined us for this event – and believe me, there was MUCH discussion between Liz and I in the weeks leading up to this night! The odd thing was, when this night arrived, I just wasn’t feeling myself. I didn’t really feel like taking pictures, and despite having a very relaxing day, I felt lethargic. By now you probably all know about the nasty flu that set in by the end of this evening. If you haven’t read about that, you can catch up on that story here –> A Foggy Week
What is a Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is a festival held the day before Ash Wednesday, signifying the end of the Carnival season and the start of Lent. Many cities, especially those with large Catholic populations, like New Orleans are famous for their Mardi Gras.
During Mardi Gras, almost everyone takes part in celebrating with lavish parades and parties. Many different people celebrate Mardi Gras in their own way, some people have small parties and eat many of the tasty pastries and some people have huge parties and celebrate in a big way. Some of the pastries they eat are called king’s cake, hot cross buns, punchskis, tricolor scrolls and thick sugar cookies. There are many more things that other people eat but these are the usual American celebration food for mardi gras. There are so many different parades and kinds of celebrations.
In some countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, the day is called Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday or Pancake Day. The traditional colors of the New Orleans Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold, so these were the colors that we chose to dress in for the gala. All three colors were used by the Catholic Church throughout history.
New Orleans Style Buffet
We really enjoyed the buffet, especially the New Orleans style food! The meats were absolutely delicious (which is often not the case in China) – and everything tasted wonderful. There was plenty to keep us entertained while we made numerous trips back to the buffet tables.
There was a race to see who could get the most beads (no flashing was required, haha). As you can see, I did pretty well – and mostly just by asking people around me for their beads. I was too tired and overcome with “‘blah-ness” to get up. Somehow I managed to get a decent number of strings. There was, however, one very determined guy walking around, convincing everyone to give him their beads. By the end of the night, he had so many beads that he won by a landslide!
Those beads made me so hot and sweaty – I have no idea how he was wearing 4-5 times what I had.
We didn’t stay too late, nor did we go to the afterparty, but we did enjoy our night of celebrations – Mardi Gras style!