‘Courir de Mardi Gras,’ with a few modifications

By Crystal Nix

Mardi Gras is celebrated in rural areas with the traditional “Courir de Mardi Gras”, the tradition of chasing chickens by men on horseback dressed in costumes and masks riding through the countryside, stopping at houses along the way to beg for food.

I wanted my grandkids to experience some of our country Louisiana traditions, but with changing times, I modified the traditions. This past weekend, Mardi Gras was celebrated with a traditional gumbo, potato salad and Mardi Gras cupcakes. We decorated with purple, green and gold mylar fringes, huge tissue paper flowers hung from the ceiling and there were lots of Mardi Gras beads. The kids dressed their part in traditional chicken run costumes.

Their Great Aunt Donna Phillips handmade the chicken run costumes using t-shirts and brightly colored fringed strips of fabric. Instead of chasing a valuable chicken, we replaced that tradition with a rooster piñata filled with treats.The kids had a blast trying to bust the piñata. Donna made the pinata using a balloon, newspaper paper meche, tissue paper and some real rooster tail feathers.