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Mardi Gras 101 — Cajun Glossary Terms You Need To Know

Mardi Gras
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It’s Mardi Gras time!  Are you ready for the national holiday of Louisiana?  Well I want to get you ready so that when your on the parade route, on a Mardi Run, or throwing beads off a float, you will know what the heck your talking about when it comes to Mardi Gras!

Here is a list of terms that you need to know that will make you the Mardi Gras aficionado.

Here are some terms that will make you look like a Mardi Gras expert!

  • Laissez les bon temps rouler — Let The Good Times Roll
  • Mardi Gras — Fat Tuesday
  • Lundi Gras — Fat Monday which is the day before the Mardi Gras holiday.
  • Capuchon — cone-shaped ceremonial hat worn during the Mardi Gras celebration in the Cajun areas of southwestern Louisiana
  • Courir de Mardi Gras — Chicken Run.  This is where people get on horses and go house to house in a community and collect things like live chickens and other materials to make a gumbo.  They end up at a finishing point where they have a dance and cook for the community.
  • Doubloons — These are coins thrown from floats during a Mardi Gras parade and usually have the crest and names of the Mardi Gras Krewes names on them.
  • King Cake — Is a type of cake that is made during the Mardi Gras season.  It usually dawns the purple, gold, and green toppings which are indicative of the Mardi Gras colors.  Some are just a cake and some have filling like Strawberry, Bavarian Cream, Chocolate and more.  Also a plastic toy baby is inserted into the cake and the person who gets the piece of cake with the baby, has to buy or make the next King Cake.
  • Krewe — A Mardi Gras Krewe is a group of people or organization that puts on a ball and participates in the Mardi Gras parades.  They usually have a theme for each year and select a king and queen to represent the Krewe in the parades, Twelve night and Royal gala’s.
  • 12th Night — This is a the beginning of the Mardi Gras Season and falls twelve days after Christmas.  This where all the Krewes from an area of Louisiana get together and salute the Kings and Queens who served over the past year’s Mardi Gras.
  • Royal Gala — This occurs on Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras.  This is where all the Krewes have the chance to present their new Kings and Queens to the public before the Krewe of Krewe’s parade the next day on Mardi Gras.
  • Mardi Gras Parade — During the Mardi Gras season, there could be countless parades.  Most Mardi Gras parades will include all the registered Krewe’s in the area along with local businesses and media outlets.
  • Purple, Green and Gold — The traditional colors of Mardi Gras
  • Second Line — Famous song recorded by Stop, Inc.  When this song is played at Mardi Gras balls, the revelers all line up in a single file line and dance around the floor.  Some have masks on while others raise umbrellas.
  • Fais Do Do — Cajun Music Dance or Cajun Party
  • Cher (Sha) – Baby or dear
  • Couillion (koo-yawn) — Means Crazy which most people are during the Mardi Gras season.

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