TARIN KOT, Afghanistan – U.S. soldiers at Multi National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, receive Mardi Gras costumed masks and beads and Mardi Gras king cake, from the states allowing them to a break from operations and celebrate in true New Orleans' style, Feb. 12 2013.
For New Orleans local, Maj. David Main, Mardi Gras marks the end of carnival season and the beginning of the lenten season, with the wearing of purple, green, and gold masks, the distribution of beads, and the baking of good food and a king cake.
“During lent people fast so the day prior is called ‘Fat Tuesday’ because people celebrate with parties and parades and lively music in a huge celebration at home,” said Security Force Advisory Team Commander, Maj. David Main, 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
During Mardi Gras, no party is not complete without a traditional king cake. And thanks to Maj. Main’s wife, the Mardi Gras party resembled traditional fashion with a an original New Orleans king cake sent from his bakery in Louisiana.
“A king cake is an oval pastry decorated in purple, green and gold with a tiny baby doll hidden inside. The baby is supposed to remind people of when the wise men visited the baby Jesus and whoever receives the slice of cake with the baby is responsible for continuing the festivities by providing a king cake at the next party,” Main said.
Main is the only person from New Orleans in his team, but during the party he found comrades from the aviation unit on Camp Holland who were also from his home town in Louisiana.
“We had decorated our office with beads but being able to celebrate it with others and the traditional king cake from New Orleans reminded us of home, said Spc. Malysa Weaver, from Task Force Brawler.
Everyone from across camp Holland was invited to enjoy barbequed hotdogs, chicken and hamburgers.
“I feel like everyone enjoyed themselves. I was at the grill all day but from the looks on everyone’s faces they really enjoyed themselves, making it a true team building event ” said Sgt. 1st Class, Michael Player, 56th IBCT .