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Mardi Gras/Fat Tuessday

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1 Mardi Gras/Fat Tuessday on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:47 am

Fuarie

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Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras, (French for "Fat Tuesday", also known as Shrove Tuesday), is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a 40 day period of fasting and reflection in preparation for Easter Sunday. Mardi Gras was historically a time to use up the foods that were not to be used during Lent, including fat, eggs, and meat.
Musicians celebrating Courir de Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras celebrations in rural Acadiana are distinct from the more widely known celebrations in New Orleans and other metropolitan areas. One tradition is the wearing of a capuchon, which is a cone-shaped ceremonial hat. Another distinct feature of Cajun celebration centers on the courir (translated: to run). A group of people, usually on horseback, will approach a farmhouse and ask for something for the community gumbo pot. Often, the farmer or his wife will allow the riders to have a chicken, if they can catch it. The group then puts on a show, comically attempting to catch the chicken set out in a large open area. Songs are sung, jokes are told, and skits are acted out. When and if the chicken is caught, it is added to the pot at the end of the day. The Courir de Mardi Gras held in the small town of Mamou has become well known. This tradition has much in common with the observance of La Chandeleur, or Candlemas (February 2), by Acadians in Nova Scotia. .



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