Mamou celebrates Courir de Mardi Gras

MAMOU, La. (KLFY) - For most of south Louisiana Mardi Gras Day consists of watching floats and catching beads. But here in Mamou, its all about the yearly Courir de Mardi Gras.

Courir de Mardi Gras is a yearly tradition celebrated in various rural towns in southwest Louisiana.

Mamou is home to one of the more popular "Fat Tuesday Runs" in the area. "This is what it's all about. People move away and come back for Mardi Gras," one participant said. Mardi Gras dressed in costume kept in check by captains take to the countryside to chase chickens and collect ingredients for a communal gumbo. "I'm getting older and those chickens move fast," another runner said. "I did catch a chicken! You have to lead them. You can't go in front of them."This begging tradition was brought to Louisiana by French settlers in the 17th century. "That's what it's all about. You have to dance and they give you a chicken."The tradition of Mamou's courier de Mardi Gras. One that's taken seriously by those involved. "This is bigger than Christmas.""You have to have a mask and costume to run.""How fired up we get fellas!!!"Mamou's Courier De Mardi Gras something only found in southwest Louisiana. A custom sure to withstand the test of time. "That's part of our tradition. The old way.""We run no matter what. This is what we do."My first courier De Mardi Gras in the books...And Acadiana I tell you what...This New Orleans boy will never look at Mardi Gras the same.

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