cajunzydecophotos > Collections

The photos in the collection were taken over four days during the 2009 Mardi Gras season in rural Acadiana, specifically within a 30-mile radius of the town of Eunice in Southwest Louisiana. Included are photos of several of the Mardi Gras runs or courirs in which participants travel through the countryside stopping at homes to beg for donations and to chase chickens thrown by homeowners. Traditionally, the chickens and other donated ingredients are added to a gumbo served at a community gathering after the run. Also included are photos of dances and other events that celebrate Mardi Gras, when everyone lets go prior to Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season, a time of penance observed by most of the predominantly Catholic participants in the Mardi Gras indulgences in sensual pleasure that end the next day with a somber observance of mortality and the hope of spiritual redemption. These photos represent only a small fraction of what goes on in rural Acadiana during Mardi Gras, and, though I tried to visit a lot of locations, I could not make it everywhere, so some major events are not included.

Note: Many of the photos in these set were taken with a Tamron XR Di 28-300 zoom lens on a Nikon D3 camera. Though I usually shoot with Nikon lenses, I decided to try a zoom with a wider range to try to better capture the fast-moving action at courirs, even though the images are not quite as sharp.

For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands included on these Flickr pages, plus Mardi Gras photos, go to