Category Archives: Le courir de Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

There is a Mardi Gras “incident” I remember from years back that I “get” now. It involved my mom and a pot of gumbo. There is a tradition here in south Louisiana that every house should have a pot of Mardi Gras gumbo simmering on the stove on Fat Tuesday. It goes back to the tradition of the Le courir de Mardi Gras that came from the back country – something totally unlike the pageantry and parades seen in the cities. This maintains its French pronunciation because of its place of origin, the French countryside. This is the Mardi Gras my mom grew up knowing – chasing chickens on horseback and in costume that would end up in a communal pot of gumbo. Well, that tradition, as are many, was buried deep within her but it was not passed on, so, how was I to know it was important? Anyway, one Mardi Gras she made a pot of gumbo and we, her adult children, did not show up – we had made other plans – parades. She was very disappointed, perhaps even offended?? I didn’t really understand the dramatic response then, but I do now. I understand the wanting to share your past with your future, wanting your children to know where you came from. Life is funny though because all of those opportunities to share and connect tend to happen when your children need to be so in the moment – their lives are busy with their children, careers, houses, etc. It is all so upside down and regretful. Today, this time in my life, would be a great Mardi Gras day to hear of Le Courir de Mardi Gras that ran through the countryside around Ville Platte and Mamou and to hear her describe the details of the riders and the ingredients of that gumbo and the foundations of her life – How I would love to hear all of that…now.
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