Knights of Babylon 2019: “Winged Wonders”
Happy 80th birthday, Knights of Babylon!
1. Babylon Jester Emblem and trademark “Carnival Begins when Babylon Rolls”
2. Captain of the Knights of Babylon
3. Sargon LXXIV rides on his elaborate papier-mâché throne surrounded by five pages. Mules pull Sargon, which is a tradition that dates back to the original New Orleans carnivals.
4. The Officers of the Knights of Babylon ride on the Carrollton streetcar, a New Orleans tradition.
5. The Gates of Ishtar
The Babylon Dukes ride on the Gates of Ishtar, one of the main gates leading into the ancient Babylonian city.
6. Babylonian Barge
The Babylonian Barge was modeled after the barges used on the Nile River by the Babylonians. These barges were used for a variety of purposes, including commerce and funerals. The barges were made of papyrus reed tightly woven together to prevent water leaks.
7. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The gardens were built by Nebuchadnezzar for his wife, Princess Amytis. The princess longed for the greenery of her mountainous homeland to the north, but since Babylon was flat, they built the gardens starting with a brick terrace 10 stories high, followed by lining of lead, soil and then plants, and an irrigation system, operated by slaves, from the Nile to the terraces.
8. The Temple of Marduk
The temple of Marduk was the main temple in the city of Babylon and was restored to its greatness by Nebuchadnezzar. Also called the Esagila, the temple of Marduk was, after the Ziggurat and the royal Palace, the greatest of the architectural complexes of Babylon.
9. Babylon Jesters
The Jesters' float was named in honor of the Jesters Club, the parent club of the Knights of Babylon.
10. Title Float: “Winged Wonders”
Babylon explores things that fly, going back to the time of the ancient gods through things we see in nature today.
Well-known to those of us who live in the South, pesky mosquitoes can ruin a backyard barbecue or a day at Audubon Park. Mosquitoes transmitted yellow fever, which has been almost eradicated in the U.S., and today they carry new diseases, including West Nile and Zika virus.
Technically, only males are peacocks. Females are peahens, and together, they are called peafowl. Peacocks are large, colorful pheasants that have blue, green and brown feathers. Only the males have the colorful trains which are used in mating rituals and courtship displays.
The Garuda is a legendary eagle-like bird creature in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology. He is a protector with power to swiftly go anywhere. He is a peaceful creature whose flapping wings can stop the spinning of the heavens, earth and hell. Garuda represents birth and heaven, and is the enemy of all snakes.
Worldwide, there are approximately 28,000 species of butterflies. Possibly because of their delicate beauty, butterflies are frequently used in jewelry design.
Native to the Americas, hummingbirds are among the smallest of the birds, ranging in size from 2 to 5 inches. They are colorful birds with iridescent feathers and have existed for 30 million years. The humming noise comes from their rapidly beating wings, requiring a rapid metabolism fueled by nectar from flowers.
16. Black swan
Black swans are large aquatic birds found in the Australian waters. They have mostly black plumage and red bills. When the black swan flies, you can see its white flight feathers. They can weigh up to 19.5 pounds. These beautiful birds can live up to 40 years and are very low and slow flyers, known to make a trumpeting call when in flight.
This bird was originally depicted in the 1948 Babylon parade. It rises again from the ashes of the past on Babylon’s 80th anniversary. It was a great bird that lived 500 years. As its life ended, the Phoenix was engulfed in flames and a new phoenix arose from its ashes. It is a symbol of rebirth and represents the victory of life over death.
A pure white, mythical, winged stallion, Pegasus was a child of the Olympic god Poseidon. After birth, Pegasus ascended into the heavens to become obedient to Zeus. He is a symbol of wisdom and fame and became associated with poetry in the 18th century. Pegasus was capable of creating water streams wherever he struck his hoof.
Bees are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Honey comes from the honeycomb which is always hexagonal. Like dragonflies and butterflies, they adorn many types of jewelry and fabrics. Queen Lauren is our 2019 Queen Bee, and we hail our past Queen Bees as Babylon celebrates 80 years!
Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. They spend most of their life in the nymph phase and live on aquatic vegetation. As adults, they are rapid flyers and can live on insects. This insect has inspired engineers who dream of making robots that fly like dragonflies. For years, these special creatures have adorned Tiffany lamps and India Stewart jewelry.
A bird of prey with a heavy head, great strength, and powerful beak and eyes, the bald eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since June 20, 1782. They are known for their majestic beauty and great strength. The bald eagle is not bald but has a white head and is native to North America.
There are 10,000 living species of birds. They have feathers and toothless beaked jaws, and they lay eggs. Birds date back 170 million years to feathered dinosaurs. They are popular pets and they are a source of meat, eggs, feathers and fertilizer. We see these winged animals flying everywhere.
The only mammals able to fly, bats make up one-fourth of all mammal species with more than 1,000 species. Seventy percent exist eating insects or small creatures. The most famous is the blood sucking bats of South America. In Shakespeare’s "The Tempest," Ariel flies on the back of a bat.
A sprite is a supernatural entity often depicted as a fairy-like creature. They can be either water or air spirits. They are often confused with exotic insects or flowers at first glance. As depicted on this float, Sprite appears as Ariel from Shakespeare’s Tempest.
Angels appear in the earliest writings in the Bible. They are intermediaries between God and men. As we know, there are good angels, and then there are Satan and his group of fallen angels. Obviously, the angels depicted on this float represent the good. We are blessed to have angels watching over us.