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Cajun Celebrations

Nearly every village, town, and city of any size has a yearly festival, celebrating an important part of the local economy.


Photo Courtesy of LDT



Many people in Cajun country are prone to have a party "at the drop of a hat". Any get-together at home with a few friends, night on the town with a larger group, or a full blown festival involving thousands of people are all greeted with enthusiasm.

Nearly every village, town, and city of any size has a yearly festival, celebrating an important part of the local economy. Examples are the Duck Festival in Gueydan, The Rice Festival in Crowley, the Sugarcane festival in New Iberia, and the Zydeco Festival in Opelousas.

The Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge and Festival Internationale in Lafayette are two of the most popular festivals, and attract visitors from around the world. Smaller local festivals are very popular, and are produced with great fanfare. The majority of festivals include a "fais-do-do" or street dance, usually to a live local band. Crowds at these festivals can range from a few hundred to over 100,000.

Related Links:
The Cajun & Creole People

Louisiana Music
Cajun & Creole Food

Mardi Gras underscores the Cajun belief system. The Catholic church figures heavily in planning almost everything and many of the traditions of Acadiana are based on the church calendar.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent in the Catholic church, a 40 day period of fasting and reflection which ends Easter Sunday.
So Mardi Gras is the last chance to have a huge party.

The traditional "fat Tuesday" celebration in the rural areas of Acadiana is nothing like the debauchery and craziness that typifies New Orleans and other metropolitan celebrations. It centers around the courir (translated: run).

A group of people, usually on horseback, will approach a farmhouse and ask for something for the community gumbo pot. Often, the farmer or his wife will allow the riders to have a chicken, if they can catch it.

The group then puts on a show, comically attempting to catch the chicken set out in a large open area. Songs are sung, jokes are told, and little skits are acted out. When and if the chicken is caught, it is duly added to the pot at the end of the day.