by Brooke Pizani, Photographer & Special Sections
FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD, there are four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. For Louisiana, it may seem we skip winter or have an extended summer, but we identify our seasons by what each change of the weather means to us. Ask a native of South Louisianan what the four seasons are and they may answer:
Mardi Gras, Crawfish, Sno-ball and Football.
WINTER Carnival season starts on January 6th, The Feast of the Epiphany, and lasts through Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras. People wait all year to celebrate what makes Louisiana unique from the rest of the country. King cakes and beads can be found on every street. People schedule their days around parades and tend to drink as much as they eat. Nobody else can say they had off of school for Mardi Gras! Everywhere else, it’s just a Tuesday, but in South Louisiana is a holiday that is highly anticipated.
SPRING During crawfish season, pots are filled with seafood, boiling water, spicy seasoning, and anything else Cajuns see fit. Crawfish are bought fresh by the sack and shared among family and friends. Everybody comes casual and leaves full with the smell of crawfish lasting on their skin for hours after. The Catholic season of Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras, asks for practicing Catholics to abstain from meat on every Friday until Easter Sunday.
SUMMER Sno-ball season beats the summer heat for many Louisianans of all ages. It’s called a sno-ball never a sno-cone or shaved ice; those don’t exist in Southern Louisiana. Sno-balls are sold at stands on the side of the road and are just too much of a temptation for people to pass up. There is no dress code required and people are often seen in swim wear and flip flops while they take a break from summer activities such as fishing. When the sno- ball is first served it can be eaten with a spoon, but one minute in the Louisiana sun turns it into an icy liquid that you drink with a straw. Sno-balls are served in a Styrofoam cup and flavored with sweet syrups in hundreds of flavors that leave your tongue stained.
FALL And last but certainly not least, football season. Also known as tailgating season. Bars and restaurants will be just as packed as churches on a Sunday from roughly August to January. Both college football on Saturdays, and professional football on Sundays will bring together family and friends. Food and football go hand in hand especially if the Tigers or Saints are having a good season. From potluck style football parties to parking lot BBQs fans stay full to cheer on their favorite team.