How old is Mardi Gras? Old. Really old. There was a canadian tv production called ‘the fat man goes cajun’ which had some good footage of rural louisiana Mardi Gras. In that documentary it was stated that the mardi gras tradition was brought to the US from France in the 1600s. I don’t know if there is any mardi gras in France currently.
There are basically 2 types of mardi gras. The New Orleans style Carnival and the rural ‘chicken run’ style. The chicken run mardi gras is a french catholic version of the jewish barmitva (sp). What I’m trying to say is that it was a comming of age tradition for young boys. The boys and men would dress up in costume and ride the countryside from farm to farm. The boys would ‘steal’ chickens, potatos, rice, eggs, etc… and the men would supervise. This was the manner in witch the boys proved they were ready to be providers. They could now be men because they could ‘feed’ their ‘families.’ The gathered food would be served at a local dance and dining hall that evening.
In modern days both men and women often take part, but this was once a controversial subject.
(although I am not the Cajunman I am a cajunman so ask any questions you wish. Since everyone else said where they were from-I’m from Basile, LA)