With eyes covered by feather-decorated masks and colorful beads around their necks, students at St. Teresa School celebrated Mardi Gras.
"I really like it," said Jack Robertson, 8. "The celebration we're having is so fun."
Green, purple and yellow streamers hung throughout the classroom.
"I think it's really great," said Shannon Flaherty, 6. "Of all the colors, my favorite color is yellow because it means power. God has power."
The green symbolizes justice and the purple faith in God.
In addition to the celebration, kindergarten aide Cathy Smith wanted students to understand the true meaning behind it.
She passed out King Cakes, reminiscent of the arrival of the three kings who visited the baby Jesus. Traditionally, a baby doll is baked into the cake to represent a new beginning.
Mardi Gras, literally "fat Tuesday," is a time of merry-making to precede Lent, which is a time of sacrifice. Lent lasts 40 days to commemorate the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.
Smith encouraged the students to not only sacrifice something for Lent but to place increased emphasis on serving others and building their relationship with God through prayer.
"We want them to feel the true meaning of the Lent season," Smith said. "By giving of themselves to others, they gain so much in return."
The Mardi Gras celebration at the school ended around 2:30 p.m. with the ringing of the "shrive bell" to remind students to confess their sins at the beginning of Lent.
"It's time to think about God," said Jake Kerkla, 7, as the bell rang. "He died for us. He went out in the desert for 40 days and didn't eat."
Lent begins today with Ash Wednesday -- a time to repent misdeeds.