The celebration preceding the Catholic ritual of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Christ's rise from the grave might be the most bitchin' thing about Christianity. While Lent represents the time Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by Satan, Carnival and Mardi Gras are geared toward indulgence in sin—exactly what Lent aims to avoid.
Despite the significant Catholic population in New Mexico, the Carnival tradition doesn't exist here as it does in the Gulf Coast, Caribbean and South America. But we can pretend: Here are some Fat Tuesday events happening around town.
Celebration: Carnaval Dance Party
Frank Leto and PANdemonium, along with Pilar Leto and Odara Dance Ensemble, combine music, dance and costumes in celebration of Carnaval around the world, including Trinidad, New Orleans, Cuba and Brazil. Shows are Friday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center's Albuquerque Journal Theatre (1701 Fourth Street SW, 724-4771). Tickets are $10 to $20 through Ticketmaster or the NHCC box office.
The Route 66 Revelers Mardi Gras/Carnival Concert
Loma Colorado Library in Rio Rancho (755 Loma Colorado NE) hosts The Route 66 Revelers, playing Dixieland and jazz from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Attendees are invited to wear costumes and dance. Tickets are free but required: Call 891-5013 ext. 3030.
Be sure to check our calendars for more Mardi Gras events this week. Also, keep an eye on our blog, as I will be web reporting from New Orleans.