Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Really Random Tuesday #19: International Women's Day and Mardi Gras

March 8 is International Women's Day, a day celebrating the economic, political, and social achievements of women. In some countries, such as China, Russia, and Vietnam, International Women's Day is a national holiday. In Russia, men give their wives, daughters, mothers, and grandmothers flowers to honor this special day. International Women's Day honors the work of the Suffragettes, and reminds us that we still need to work to achieve equal rights for women worldwide. 2011 is the Global Centenary Year for International Women's Day, which began in 1911.

While I won't be attending any special events here related to International Women's Day, I do plan on reading more short stories in an excellent collection I've rediscovered, Women & Fiction: Short Stories by and about Women, edited by Susan Cahill. I've read some of the stories before, such as The New Dress, by Virginia Woolf, but many of them I haven't read yet. Authors in this book include Edith Wharton, Katherine Mansfield, Alice Munro, Eudora Welty, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, Alice Walker, Kate Chopin, and other great writers.

Today is also Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday" , also known as "Shrove Tuesday" and even "Pancake Day", referring to the practice of the last night of eating rich foods (including pancakes) before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is celebrated for varying lengths of time in many cities and countries around the world, and people "eat, drink, and be merry", wear masks and costumes, and join parades, parties, and dances.

Mardi Gras


Really Random Tuesday is a way to post odds and ends--announcements, musings, quotes, photos--any blogging and book-related things you can think of. If you're inspired by this idea, feel free to copy the button and use it on your own blog. Leave a link in the comments if you’re participating and I'll add it to this post.

For other recent Really Random Tuesday posts, please stop by Sam's blog, Booked on a Feeling, and Kim's blog, Page After Page.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I had to chuckle when I read what you wrote about Mardi Gras. When we lived in France, Vance came home from school very excited because they were going to make pancakes at school on Mardi Gras. When I picked him up that day, I asked him how they were and he said they'd been tricked - they didn't have pancakes, all they had was crepes.

  2. I will get back to do this post soon. Have been backed up with posts to go out. YOu know how much I love doing them. I would love to attend Mardi Gras one year. I didn't realise it meant Fat Tuesday!

  3. I haven't seen the book with the short stories, but it does sound interesting.

    Thanks for your visit to My Reading Corner today.

  4. Happy International Women's Day :) lol...I've been eating extra chocolates today since I give them up for Lent :P

  5. Suko, I knew nothing about International Women's Day--much less that it is a century old. How about that! So interesting that it is a national holiday in China and Russia...
    Thank you.

  6. I loved this post! One day soon I will participate in this fun meme.

  7. It is a busy week full of events as you point out and then next Sunday we change the clocks as well. Fun Post; thanks for making Tuesday fun.

  8. Thanks to each of you for your kind words. More comments welcomed, of course.

  9. I'd heard of International Women's Day but had no idea it was 100 years old.

    One of my favorite things about the Lenten season is the increase in the variety of fresh fish at reasonable prices in the stores around Chicago.

  10. We had a Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner last night at church that I hosted, and I'll tell you, I've never seen so many pancakes in my life! I am all prepared for Lent as well, though I don't know if I will be giving anything up this time around!

  11. We prepared , crepes, for yesterday dinner, and eat them with sugar and lemon juice or rasberry jam ! We like "Mardi Gras !"

  12. I love learning new things. I have never heard of National Women's Day and it sounds very interesting!
    Happy Women's Day and Mardi Gras!

  13. While waiting for a prescription at Walgreen's I browsed through the latest Real Simple magazine which suggested we read a Nobel prize winning book which was published by a woman for March. Who knew March was National Women's Month, or something like that? Anyway, going on to the Nobel Prize site I was inspired to pick up something by Doris Lessing, again; I've had enough of Toni Morrison to last me a lifetime, but they do have a great list of women winners in the literature category. A worthy endeavor for this blustery month, yes?

  14. Nice to know more about Mardi Gras.. Have heard about it so many times without knowing what it really meant.. Thanks!

  15. Well, no one told me about Women's Day!!! And I'm all for the excesses of Mardi Gras ... yummmmm pancakes!

  16. Both the New Yorker and the Manchester Guarding have pod casts of stories by Mansfield, Bowen and Welty and others-the Bowen work is the short story, "The Jungle"-would make a good selection for Irish Short Stories Week!


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