Making costumes, chasing chickens and gathering gumbo ingredients, those are the ingredients to a traditional Mardi Gras in Acadiana.
Students at Berchmans Academy are learning those ways at a young age.
Riding in on horseback, they strategized and got ready, and then, “You chase the chicken!”, a kindergartner exclaimed.
These kindergartners may be small, but boy, are they fierce, catching the chicken in a matter of minutes.
“My plan was to run as fast as I could because that’s how I almost caught it,” said Kenneth, a student in the kindergarten class.
This courir is a time-honored school tradition– one the students all grow to appreciate.
“I think its important to pass down the traditions, so they all remember what its all about,” said Berchmans Academy student Claude Lahaye. “Mardi Gras is Louisiana history. It’s the biggest tradition that we have here in Louisiana.”
Aside from the fun, learning about Louisiana culture is the real reason for the event.
“We end the [lesson] by letting the boys actually act out their own Courir de Mardi Gras. They make their own costumes, they fringe the fabric, they make the masks, they make the hats. They make everything, so they actually get to see what all goes into it,” said teacher Morgan Ardoin.
Then, with a solid plan in place, they’ll make a gumbo.
“We’re going to go to people’s houses, but not really, and we’re going to do a dance. And, we’re going to say ‘si só si só’ to get some nickels, and we’re going to get the ingredients to make the gumbo,” said both Dawson and Kenneth.
How could anyone say ‘no’ to that?