Mardi-Gras in France: Origins and Traditions
The Courir de Mardi Gras (Louisiana French pronunciation: [ku?i? d ma?di ??a] French pronunciation: [ku?i? d? ma?di ??a]) is a traditional Mardi Gras event held in many Cajun and Creole communities of French Louisiana on the Tuesday before Ash lovedatingstory.com de Mardi Gras is Louisiana French for "Fat Tuesday Run". This rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early begging rituals. The New Orleans Carnival schedule included the Krewe du Vieux on its traditional route through Marigny and the French Quarter on February 11, the Saturday two weekends before Mardi Gras. There were several parades on Saturday, February 18, and Sunday the 19th a week before Mardi Gras.
This rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early ahat rituals, similar to those still celebrated by mummerswassailersand celebrants of Halloween. In Acadianapopular practices include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, drinking alcohol, begging, trail riding, feasting, and whipping.
Mardi Gras is one of whxt few occasions when people are allowed to publicly wear masks in Louisiana. Barry Jean AnceletCajun folklorist and retired professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayettehas explained the origins of the Courir in rural medieval France:.
In a nutshell, the country Mardi Gras comes from the way Mardi Gras was celebrated in France in the rural section as opposed to the urban carnival.
This is similar to other contemporary traditional European customs such as mumming what does mos mean in the navy wassailing which usually occur around ChristmasNew Year's, and Epiphany.
These traditions originated in a time when most of the land and money was held by the upper classes. The poor, at the end of long winters and short on food, would gather in groups marddi make their way from castle to manor house to beg for food from the wealthy, dancing and singing in return for the generosity of the nobles. These traditions are traced to the Medieval Flagellantswho would hold processions through the streets whipping themselves and sometimes onlookers to beat the sin out of them.
Examples include the use what week is mardi gras the burlap whip and the tune on which the Chanson de Mardi Gras are based, both of which are msrdi back to Brittanya Celtic enclave on the Northwestern French coast near where the original settlers of Acadia were from. The Cajunsas they would become known whwt the rest of the world, have held on to many of their traditional customs, including their language Acadian French became Cajun Frenchmusicdances and religious festivals such as the courir.
Although the tradition never died out, during the s and s it had begun to fade away, especially during the World War II era as many of the young men who participated were away serving in the armed forces.
During the late s and early s the tradition began to be revived and in the s got a major boost with the "Cajun renaissance", a grass roots effort to promote the unique local food, culture, music and language of the area. The increased popularity of Cajun music and culture has also led to more nonlocal attention for the event.
People escape from ordinary life through the alcohol and the roles they portray in costume. As they gather, Le Capitaine the leader of what week is mardi gras Mardi Gras and his co-capitaines explain the rules and traditions that must be followed. The Capitaine usually rides on horseback, wears a cape and carries a small flag. After he organizes the troop, the bands begin to play and he leads them on the route.
Traditions vary in each town with the way it is carried out. Some towns have people on horse back, some on trailers and some on foot, and others use a variation of all three methods.
At this point, in the spirit of frivolity, individual Mardi Gras will attempt to sneak onto the property. They are held in check by the Capitaines, who sometimes brandish a plaited burlap whip. These whips are used to maintain discipline during the courir de Mardi Gras Mardi Gras run. They are used by the captain and his subordinates [co-captains] only. Werk whips are designed to be flexible and not to inflict any serious damage onto their victims, but do produce a loud noise for the edification of onlookers.
What does glucosamine do for dogs claim one has not fully participated until one has been whipped. A prize ingredient is a live chickenwhich is usually thrown into the air for the drunken Mardi Gras to chase through the muddy yards and fields. The melody of the traditional folk song is similar to melodies of the Bretons from the ks coast of France. Les Mardi Gras vient de tout partout, tout le tour du moyeu.
Une vieille patate, une patate et des gratons. Capitaine, capitaine voyage ton flag, tout le tour du moyeu. Et what is a good broadband speed in australia patates, des patates et des gratons. The Mardi Gras come from everywhere around the hub.
Once each year to ask for charity. An old potato, what did the moon look like this week potato and some cracklins. Captain, captain wave your flag, all around the hub. And for potatoes, for potatoes and weei cracklins. The Mardi Gras come from England, all around the hub.
And potatoes, potatoes and cracklins. A version of the song by the Balfa Brothers was included in the film Passion Fish. Many of the traditional maddi are derivatives of the costumes worn in early rural France during the same celebration. Role reversals can be how to stop pulling your own hair out such men dressing up like women or the rich to pose as the poor.
These hats are maddi worn, primarily by men. The name "capuchon" comes from the same root word, "cappa" in Latin, meaning a cape or hood, that gives us "cap" in English and "chapeau" in French. Chaperon headgear describes the development of the word.
The hats are vibrantly decorated to match or intentionally mis-match the colorful Mardi Gras costumes that they accompany. Originally the costumes were made from old work clothes decorated with cloth remnants and pieces of feed sack material, as many of the participants could not afford to buy material strictly for the event. This led to a patchwork style that has become associated with the costuming of the event.
The strips of cloth are cut into fringing, and are sewn onto the sleeves, up and down the legs, and on the capuchon. These costumes are also believed waht have originated in Medieval times.
The masks are almost see through, but usually not enough to discern the wearer's identity. Many costumes and masks include animal features like beaks, feathers, hair, how to cure being nauseous or tails. Capitane and a courir disguised as a rougarou.
Each community in the Acadiana area celebrates their take on the traditional Courir de Mardi Gras. Although there are many variations, most still practice the time honored tradition with Le Capitaine leading masked revelers on horseback to gather ingredients for making the communal gumbo. A few notable examples have gained attention as vital parts of the local Cajun culture.
The participants come up to bystanders with an open palm in the traditional begging gesture, and if that does not work, they will try to dig into the pockets or clothes of the bystanders as a prank in an attempt to find the nickels. The rural Wsek Gras in Choupic involves a ritual chasing and flogging with willow tree branches.
Once a man is married, he voluntarily stops his participation in the Mardi Gras run. Traditionally, the Mardis Gras were wek foot, but today some adaptations have been made, such as the use of pickup trucks and the use of three-wheelers by some participants.
The Mardis Gras meet early Mardi Gras morning at Possum Square waht then climb into the back of a few pickup trucks to hide. The pickup trucks carry the Mardis Gras from one residential section to another where they chase the children of the town, and make them recite Catholic prayers before giving them their pre-Lenten flogging with willow tree branches or sometimes with the flexible end of a fishing pole.
The Choupic courir de Mardi Gras differs from other courirs in that it does not involve the chasing of chickens nor ritual begging nor the use of horses as a means of transportation. In Church Point the rural Mardi Gras is basically the same as it was in the old days of the early settlers.
In Elton Richard formally organized the event, which until then had been individual, independent groups of riders. Only men are permitted to participate in the run, and all Mardi Gras must be fully masked and costumed. The Capitaine holds his position as leader for year after year, until he decides to relinquish it. He appoints his co-capitaines who, like how to get more memory on xbox 360 cloud storage, must not be masked.
In Duraldean unincorporated village between the towns of Mamou and Basile on the southwestern prairies of Louisiana, is one of the Creole Mardi Gras'. Participants at times wear "white face", a way that the Mardi Gras runners dress as "the other" and overturn social conventions and the world for a day.
Route Although it was defunct for a long time, the Elton courir was revived in the mids. It follows the same route and its participants sing the same local variation of the Chanson as what week is mardi gras courir in The ride starts at sunrise just to the north marvi town and goes through the Coushatta Indian Reservation and then heads south back toward Elton. Like many of the traditional Courirs the ride is an all-male affair.
In Eunice the celebration dates from when the town was first established in the late 19th century. It was abandoned for a short time during World War II when many of the local young men were in the army, but was restarted in The roughly participants, both male and female, assemble at the National Guard Armory at the corner of South 9th Street and Maple Avenue at 6 a.
They stop waht farms along the route and beg amrdi gumbo ingredients and call out "Cinq-sous pour les Mardi Gras! In a new addition was added to the festivities, the baking of the world's largest king cake. Mardj year during their Cajun Mardi Gras Chase 20, people flock to the town of less than people for the event. Unlike other Cajun Mardi Gras' celebrations, the Gheens event features teen-aged boys and men dressed as ghouls riding in pickup trucks.
Each of the newcomers must line up and be given a swat by each of the veterans with the yard long willow branches so they know how bad the switches can hurt if over used.
The runners are given bells to pin on their clothing. They then load up into their trucks and attack the town with their willow switches, searching for children. Their young victims have the choice to either fall to their knees in a penitent position and say "Pardon!
According to the account published in the Crowley Post Signal on January 27,the run dates from the earliest days of the L'Anse LeJeune settlement until it disbanded in the s. All male riders on horseback and wagons wear traditional costumes with capuchons and handmade masks. The riders travel from farm to farm, visiting and dancing with their neighbors, begging for money and gumbo ingredients while singing their unique Mardi Gras song, all just as they had done prior to disbandment.
The run is now held annually on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. A crowd favorite is the Mamou variation of the Chanson de Mardi Gras. The next day a street party begins, in anticipation of the Courir, who have been riding through the countryside collecting ingredients for the evening gumbo. The Mamou Courir abides by the older traditions, with the Capitaines unmasked and all other revelers masked in the all-male troupe. The run in Soileau, Louisiana is one of the few Creole Courir de Mardi Gras in southwest Louisiana, and is thought to whag just as old as the Cajun versions.
They hold their run on the Monday before Mardi Gras, with its starting point at Andrew Cezar's sulky racing track. From there they head down Louisiana Highway Traditional Mardi Gras Courirs have been held in Creole what week is mardi gras Grand Cheniersmall towns in southern Cameron Parishsince the beginning of the 20th century. ,ardi region of Southwest Louisiana has been plagued by multiple hurricanes throughout the years, including total destruction by Hurricanes AudreyRitaand Ike.
As a result, Mardi Gras celebrations had been defunct for over a decade.
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Celebrations are concentrated for about two weeks before and through Shrove Tuesday , the day before Ash Wednesday the start of lent in the Western Christian tradition. Usually there is one major parade each day weather permitting ; many days have several large parades.
The largest and most elaborate parades take place the last five days of the Mardi Gras season. In the final week, many events occur throughout New Orleans and surrounding communities, including parades and balls some of them masquerade balls.
The parades in New Orleans are organized by social clubs known as krewes ; most follow the same parade schedule and route each year. Float riders traditionally toss throws into the crowds.
The most common throws are strings of colorful plastic beads, doubloons , decorated plastic "throw cups", Moon Pies , and small inexpensive toys. Major krewes follow the same parade schedule and route each year. While many tourists center their Carnival season activities on Bourbon Street , major parades originate in the Uptown and Mid-City districts and follow a route along St.
Walking parades - most notably the Krewe du Vieux and Chewbacchus - also take place downtown in the Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter in the weekends preceding Mardi Gras day. The first record of Mardi Gras being celebrated in Louisiana was at the mouth of the Mississippi River in what is now lower Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana , on March 2, Iberville , Bienville , and their men celebrated it as part of an observance of Catholic practice. The date of the first celebration of the festivities in New Orleans is unknown.
A account by Marc-Antione Caillot celebrating with music and dance , masking and costuming including cross-dressing. Processions and wearing of masks in the streets on Mardi Gras took place. They were sometimes prohibited by law, and were quickly renewed whenever such restrictions were lifted or enforcement waned. In Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville , a rich plantation owner of French descent, raised money to fund an official Mardi Gras celebration.
James R. Shrove Tuesday is a day to be remembered by strangers in New Orleans, for that is the day for fun, frolic, and comic masquerading. All of the mischief of the city is alive and wide awake in active operation.
Men and boys, women and girls, bond and free, white and black, yellow and brown, exert themselves to invent and appear in grotesque, quizzical, diabolic, horrible, strange masks, and disguises. In 21 businessmen gathered at a club room in the French Quarter to organize a secret society to observe Mardi Gras with a formal parade.
According to one historian, "Comus was aggressively English in its celebration of what New Orleans had always considered a French festival. It is hard to think of a clearer assertion than this parade that the lead in the holiday had passed from French-speakers to Anglo-Americans. To a certain extent, New Orleans 'creolized' the Americans. Thus the wonder of Anglo-Americans boasting of how their business prowess helped them construct a more elaborate version than was traditional.
The lead in organized Carnival passed from Creole to American just as political and economic power did over the course of the nineteenth century. The spectacle of Creole-American Carnival, with Americans using Carnival forms to compete with Creoles in the ballrooms and on the streets, represents the creation of a New Orleans culture neither entirely Creole nor entirely American. In Louisiana declared Mardi Gras a legal state holiday. In the New Orleans police department went on strike.
The official parades were canceled or moved to surrounding communities, such as Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Significantly fewer tourists than usual came to the city.
Masking, costuming, and celebrations continued anyway, with National Guard troops maintaining order. Guardsmen prevented crimes against persons or property but made no attempt to enforce laws regulating morality or drug use; for these reasons, some in the French Quarter bohemian community recall as the city's best Mardi Gras ever.
In the New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance that required social organizations, including Mardi Gras Krewes, to certify publicly that they did not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, to obtain parade permits and other public licenses.
In protest—and because the city claimed the parade gave it jurisdiction to demand otherwise-private membership lists—the 19th-century krewes Comus and Momus stopped parading. Several organizations brought suit against the city, challenging the law as unconstitutional.
Two federal courts later declared that the ordinance was an unconstitutional infringement on First Amendment rights of free association, and an unwarranted intrusion on the privacy of the groups subject to the ordinance.
Today, New Orleans krewes operate under a business structure; membership is open to anyone who pays dues, and any member can have a place on a parade float.
The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, caused a few people to question the future of the city's Mardi Gras celebrations. Mayor Nagin , who was up for reelection in early , tried to play this sentiment for electoral advantage [ citation needed ].
However, the economics of Carnival were, and are, too important to the city's revival. The city government, essentially bankrupt after Hurricane Katrina, pushed for a scaled back celebration to limit strains on city services. However, many krewes insisted that they wanted to and would be ready to parade, so negotiations between krewe leaders and city officials resulted in a compromise schedule.
It was scaled back but less severely than originally suggested. Parades followed daily from Thursday night through Mardi Gras. Other than Krewe du Vieux and two Westbank parades going through Algiers, all New Orleans parades were restricted to the Saint Charles Avenue Uptown to Canal Street route, a section of the city which escaped significant flooding.
Some krewes unsuccessfully pushed to parade on their traditional Mid-City route, despite the severe flood damage suffered by that neighborhood. The city restricted how long parades could be on the street and how late at night they could end. National Guard troops assisted with crowd control for the first time since Louisiana State troopers also assisted, as they have many times in the past.
Many floats had been partially submerged in floodwaters for weeks. While some krewes repaired and removed all traces of these effects, others incorporated flood lines and other damage into the designs of the floats. Most of the locals who worked on the floats and rode on them were significantly affected by the storm's aftermath. Many had lost most or all of their possessions, but enthusiasm for Carnival was even more intense as an affirmation of life. The themes of many costumes and floats had more barbed satire than usual, with commentary on the trials and tribulations of living in the devastated city.
By the season, the Endymion parade had returned to the Mid-City route, and other Krewes expanding their parades Uptown. In , two parade attendees—one during the Nyx parade, and one during the Endymion parade, were killed after being struck and run over in between interconnected "tandem floats" towed by a single vehicle. Following the incident during the Nyx parade, there were calls for New Orleans officials to address safety issues with these floats including outright bans, or requiring the gaps to be filled in using a barrier.
Following the second death during the Endymion parade on February 22, which caused the parade to be halted and cancelled , city officials announced that tandem floats would be banned effective immediately, with vehicles restricted to one, single float only. Unknown to the participants and local leaders at the time, the Carnival season with parades running from January through Mardi Gras Day on February 25 coincided with increasing spread of coronavirus disease COVID in the United States as part of a global epidemic.
Subsequently, the state of Louisiana saw a significant impact from the pandemic, with New Orleans in particular seeing a high rate of cases. Mayor LaToya Cantrell stated that she would have cancelled Mardi Gras festivities had she been provided with sufficient warning by the federal government, and criticized the Trump administration for downplaying the threat.
A sub-committee of the Mardi Gras Advisory Committee focused on COVID proposed that parades still be held but with strict safety protocols and recommendations, including enforcement of social distancing , highly recommending the wearing of face masks by attendees, discouraging "high value" throws in order to discourage crowding, as well as discouraging the consumption of alcohol, and encouraging more media coverage of parades to allow at-home viewing.
On November 17, , Mayor Cantrell's communications director Beau Tidwell announced that the city would prohibit parades during Carnival season in Tidwell once again stressed that Mardi Gras was not "cancelled", but that it would have to be conducted safely, and that allowing parades was not "responsible" as they can be superspreading events. On February 5, , in response to continued concerns surrounding "recent large crowds in the Quarter" and variants of SARS-CoV-2 as Shrove Tuesday neared, Mayor Cantrell announced special public health orders effective February 12— All bars in New Orleans including those with temporary permits to operate as restaurants were ordered closed, and to-go drink sales by restaurants, and all packaged liquor sales in the French Quarter, was prohibited.
Mayor Cantrell stated that she would "rather be accused of doing too much than doing too little. The colors traditionally associated with Mardi Gras in New Orleans are green , gold , and purple.
The colors were first specified in proclamations by the Rex organization during the lead-up to their inaugural parade in , suggesting that balconies be draped in banners of these colors. It is unknown why these specific colors were chosen; some accounts suggest that they were initially selected solely on their aesthetic appeal, as opposed to any true symbolism.
Errol Laborde, author of Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization , presented a theory that the colors were based on heraldry : all three colors correspond to a heraldic tincture , and Rex's goal may have been to create a tricolor to represent their "kingdom". Purple was widely associated with royalty, while white was already heavily used on other national flags, and was thus avoided.
Furthermore, he noted that a flag in green, gold and purple in that order complies with the rule of tincture , which states that metals gold or silver can only be placed on or next to other colors, and that colors cannot be placed on or next to other colors. Following a color-themed Rex parade in that featured purple, green, and gold-colored floats themed around the concepts, the Rex organization retroactively declared that the three colors in that order symbolized justice, power, and faith.
The traditional colors are commonly addressed as purple, green, and gold, in that order—even though this order violates the rule of tincture. Epiphany , on January 6, has been recognized as the start of the New Orleans Carnival season since at least ; locally, it is sometimes known as Twelfth Night although this term properly refers to Epiphany Eve, January 5, the evening of the twelfth day of Christmastide.
Many of Carnival's oldest societies, such as the Independent Strikers' Society, hold masked balls but no longer parade in public. The population of New Orleans more than doubles during the five days before Mardi Gras Day, in anticipation of the biggest celebration. Wednesday night begins with Druids, and is followed by the Mystic Krewe of Nyx , the newest all-female Krewe. Nyx is famous for their highly decorated purses, and has reached Super Krewe status since their founding in Thursday night starts off with another all-women's parade featuring the Krewe of Muses.
The parade is relatively new, but its membership has tripled since its start in It is popular for its throws highly sought-after decorated shoes and other trinkets and themes poking fun at politicians and celebrities. The first of the "super krewes," Endymion , parades on Saturday night, with the celebrity-led Bacchus parade on Sunday night The celebrations begin early on Mardi Gras, which can fall on any Tuesday between February 3 and March 9 depending on the date of Easter , and thus of Ash Wednesday.
Charles following the traditional Uptown route from Napoleon to St. Charles and then to Canal St. Truck parades follow Rex and often have hundreds of floats blowing loud horns, with entire families riding and throwing much more than just the traditional beads and doubloons. Numerous smaller parades and walking clubs also parade around the city. Various groups of Mardi Gras Indians , divided into uptown and downtown tribes, parade in their finery. In New Orleans, costumes and masks are seldom publicly worn by non-Krewe members on the days before Fat Tuesday other than at parties , but are frequently worn on Mardi Gras.
Laws against concealing one's identity with a mask are suspended for the day. Banks are closed, and some businesses and other places with security concerns such as convenience stores post signs asking people to remove their masks before entering. A 'throw' is the collective term used for the objects that are thrown from floats to parade-goers.
Until the s, the most common form was multi-colored strings of glass beads made in Czechoslovakia. Glass beads were supplanted by less expensive and more durable plastic beads, first from Hong Kong , then from Taiwan , and more recently from China.
Lower-cost beads and toys allow float-riders to purchase greater quantities, and throws have become more numerous and common.
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