A super-fit Chinese doctor who amazed millions with her incredibly muscular figure has said that gym workouts are ‘just a hobby’ for her.
Yuan Herong, a 30-year-old traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, started exercising two years ago because she wanted to ‘look stronger’.
With the simple goal in mind, she hits the gym five times a week come rain or shine, and her gruelling exercising sessions have earned her an unbelievably ripped physique and hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. The fitness fanatic, who has been dubbed ‘the real-life Chun-Li’, told Ruptly: ‘I just take it as a hobby to exercise naturally without medication.’
Footage shows her doing an intensive training session, including lifting weights, doing pull ups and stretching muscles.
Ms Yuan, a part-time model and competitor in professional bodybuilding contests, told Chinese news outlet NetEase she would not give up her day job not matter how successful her gym training becomes.
She then showed her hands which were full of calluses caused by her tough exercise routine.
The online sensation was born into a family of doctors and her parents ordered her to forsake her dream of being a kung fu fighter and study traditional Chinese medicine for a stable future.
Ms Yuan said that she enjoyed recording TV shows and doing photo-shoots at weekend.
The gym lover, whose husband is also a doctor and five years her senior, added that one of the things she liked the most was to cook meals with her partner using recipes based on traditional Chinese medicine.
She brushed off criticism from some web users who accused her of being ‘unfeminine’.
‘No matter what the others say, I don’t care. I am indeed a fitness fanatic. As long as I am happy, then that’s fine,’ she said.
Alexandra Anna Daddario (born March 16, 1986) is an American actress. She had her breakthrough portraying Annabeth Chase in the Percy Jackson film series (2010–2013). She has since starred as Paige in Hall Pass (2011), Heather Miller in Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), Blake Gaines in San Andreas (2015), Summer Quinn in Baywatch (2017), and Alexis Butler in We Summon the Darkness (2019). She has also guest starred in television series such as White Collar, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, True Detective, New Girl, and American Horror Story: Hotel.
Alexandra Anna Daddario was born in New York City, on March 16, 1986, the eldest child of Christina, a lawyer, and Richard Daddario, a prosecutor and former head of the New York City Police Department counterterrorism unit.She is of Italian, Irish, English, and Czechoslovak descent.She has a younger brother, Matthew Daddario, and a younger sister, Catharine Daddario, who are both actors as well.Her paternal grandfather was Emilio Q. Daddario, a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Connecticut from 1959 to 1971.
Daddario was raised on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She attended Brearley School and the Professional Children’s School. Daddario said she decided to be an actress at the age of 11. “I always loved storytelling,” she stated in 2019. “It was just something I genuinely wanted to do – and I could’ve done anything, really. I did have every opportunity on the planet.” She attended Marymount Manhattan College before dropping out to pursue acting full-time. She has studied the Meisner acting technique for years.
Supermodel Doutzen Kroes spills her beauty secrets and expert tips on getting a gorgeous summer body.
Doutzen Kroes happens to be as close to physical perfection as any human being could ever aspire to be. (Seriously: You could bounce a loonie off her backside.) The 27-year-old Dutch beauty radiates health, happiness and jaw-dropping gorgeous looks. With her catwalk career and the HD-in-a-bikini pressures of a Victoria’s Secret show, there’s no one better qualified than Doutzen Kroes to share secrets on how to look and feel great this summer.
FITNESS FREAK “I’ve always had an active lifestyle. When I was little, between the ages of eight and 16, I was obsessed with speed skating. I also love surfing and swimming in the summer, but during my pregnancy I took it a little easier and focused on running, Pilates and yoga to stay in shape.”
PUNCH IT OUT “I go to a boxing gym called Aerospace in New York City, on 13th Street. It’s a special class that’s very fast and has great music. It’s so much fun, but if you’re not used to practising so hard, or you haven’t been in a while, you feel like you might die.”
BODY SCRUB “When I’m on holiday, I put
organic coconut oil in my hair at the end of the day. When I’m on the beach, I put it on my body, cover myself in sand and then scrub. When you go into the sea, it leaves your skin as soft as silk.”
GOOD VIBRATIONS “Women should celebrate their curves and their beauty. We are so lucky to have what we have, so we should look at ourselves in a positive way. It sounds like a cliché, but if you feel good, it shows.”
HAIR SCARE “The first time I worked with [photographer] Steven Meisel, he cut my hair. You can’t say no to Steven Meisel. I was really upset—I cried! I was only 18, so it was tough—I’d had it very long. I was devastated. But he took a picture during the haircut, and it ended up on the cover of Vogue Italia!”
WISE WORDS “My mother is super-healthy and believes that if you treat your body well and eat good things, it will show. Even now, if I forget my vitamins, I think about her!”
Liege city is the third largest city in Belgium and the largest city in French-speaking Wallonia. At first glance, the city seems quieter than other places but the people here are very friendly.
Liege city – tourist destination not to be missed in Belgium
Located on the flowing Meuse River, the city of Liege will remind you of something a bit optimistic at the first meeting. An intense cultural and artistic life, an important historical heritage or the architectural excellence of countless museums all make a mark for you on your European travel journey. Liege makes us imagine this place as a weird city but still fascinates us. Also Liege is a city with many attractions, and is a very popular tourist destination.
Liège in French means the very light material to make a cork, so people like to play on words, saying their city is the lightest place in the world. Liège is a place that still preserves almost entirely works built from ancient times. Going to Liège, visitors will enjoy walking on the old streets, watching the houses around the square built of rustic blue stone or visiting the Walloon Art Museum, which is the display of works of artists in the area since Roman times.
Liege was a very important political center of medieval Europe. Eight Roman Catholic churches and cathedrals were built during this period, and seven of these have been preserved to this day. St. Lambert Church was destroyed in 1794, but they still preserve the remains. Church in St. Bartholomew was built in the eleventh century, and the baptismal house is one of the seven most important Belgian historical treasures. St Paul’s Church was built in the tenth century, and decorated in the 16th century.
Popular places to visit in Liege
The train station is like a masterpiece of art
It is very rare for a railway station platform to be said to be a masterpiece of art like the platform here. Guests will be impressed by the timeless beauty of the Liege-Giullemins station. The station was restored according to the architectural plan of the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and officially went into operation in 2009. From opening until today, this station has become highlights of the city of Liege.
When the old train station became too small, the Belgian railway society decided to build a new station. The idea of creating a new city icon, a scene that would appeal to visitors from around the world?
This area is probably the place that impresses you most when passing through Belgium’s largest town in the East. The contrast between the white light, the ancient architecture of the train station and the dark brick houses in the town seem to be highlighted, the stronghold occupies the top of the city, making visitors completely hypnotized.
The Citadelle de Liège lies 110 meters lower than the valley of the Meuse River and its origins date back to 1255. The gigantic wall of the architecture was destroyed by the French and rebuilt by the Dutch, the stronghold continued to be used as a barracks. Today only southern walls remain to be used as prisons during WW2. There is also an impressive cemetery honoring the victims of the Nazi regime.
Montagne de Bueren
One of Liège’s most eye-catching attractions, Montagne de Bueren, the 374 staircase is said to connect the new neighborhoods behind the citadel with the old city center and obviously shortening the way for the soldiers. If you like to wander, take a stroll through the enchanting narrow streets of the Citadel, be careful not to get lost.
Cruise on the Meuse River
To visit the city of Liege, the beautiful gem in the east of Belgium, you will have a trip on the river flowing through Liege: the Meuse. On the boat, you will admire some of Liège’s most beautiful sights from a different perspective.
Rue Hors-Chateau is the most famous street in the old part of the city of Liege. It originated in the tenth century and was originally placed outside the city walls. This is the headquarters of nobility and religious organizations, and those who love the architectural wonders can still see preserved houses and buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th century.
Liege has a large number of museums and galleries, which attract a large number of visitors every year. The Curtis Grand Museum originates in the 16th century, and has an excellent collection of archeology, decoration, and religious relics. The Napoleon Weapon Museum has over a thousand copies of the weapons of the ancient and modern world. There is also a museum with an extremely unique collection from the sixteenth century to the present. It is the Aquarium Museum with 46 lakes and 2,500 species of creatures, and more than 250 oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and all kinds.
Cuisine in the city of Liege
Belgian waffles, a dessert you must try when traveling to Liege. Besides chocolate and beer, Belgium is an expert when it comes to good food, and it seems that they want to develop the cuisine of Belgium. That’s the only way you can explain how they produce nearly 1600 beers and an almost endless amount of chocolate creations.
But strangely, there are only two types of waffles: “Gaufres de Bruxelles” is made of thin yeast dough that makes them lighter. The edges of the pie are smooth and rectangular in shape with deep holes. And the “Gaufre de Liège” waffles are made with thicker flour, like bread. The dough contains caramelize sugar cubes with heat and gives the waffle a golden, crunchy coating. The edges of the Liege waffles are more uneven, its shape is more rounded and the taste is sweeter than the waffles of Brussels.
Liege city of Belgium has a rich culture, many historical sites. Guests can enjoy a tour with many attractions, this is also an entertainment city with many restaurants, shopping centers, cafes, bars, and night clubs. Liege is a city that is sure to bring you an exciting trip and unforgettable memories.
Ghent – the city with ancient architecture, mixed with a vibrant and warm life will be one of the most attractive destinations in Belgium.
Without the luxuries of Bruges or the splendor of Brussels, Ghent tourism possesses a very unique hidden beauty in Belgium with hundred-year-old buildings and a unique culinary style. As the capital of East Flanders province and the third largest city in Belgium, the first impression when coming to Ghent is the peaceful beauty of an ancient city different from the modern glamor of other cities in the area. Surrounding the city is a network of canals throughout the radius of 70km from the seaport. The smooth flow of water, the gentle boats passing by, the cobblestone streets, the old houses with the characteristic architecture have turned this place into one of the most beautiful cities of Belgium.
Why should you travel to Ghent?
Ghent is located not far from Bruges – the city is considered to be the golden tourist of Belgium. People come to Bruges to admire the magnificent buildings, enjoy famous chocolate and feel the classic European style. And if you look closely you will realize that Ghent also converges all the fascinating things. The first thing you feel is the Flemish art style, the rows of luxurious restaurants and of course, chocolate is not lack.
Ghent is an old city, so take a tour of the canals, look at the hundred-year-old buildings, and get the sweet taste of chocolate shops.
Ghent owns a large number of museums on a variety of topics from art to history, architecture, and so on. Among the famous destinations in Ghent such as St. Bavo’s Basilica, Royal Dutch Theater, Laarne Castle, the most notable one is the Stam Museum. This modern museum contains all the long history as well as images of the people of the city through the centuries. The museum is arranged in so unique style that it is hard to see how quickly the day passes.
Another equally interesting activity is visiting the Gravensteen castle in Ghent. The castle dates back to the 9th century and has undergone many renovations to get the current structure.
You can also see the whole city, observe the vibrant life of Ghent while standing on top of the towers or shopping along Veldstraat street.
Food in Ghent city is extremely attractive
Traveling to Ghent, you cannot miss the rich cuisine of this ancient city. An equally interesting part of the trip to Ghent is Belgian cuisine and especially Ghent has a rich culinary history, attracting all visitors. The first stop to learn about Ghent cuisine is Het Groot Vleeshuis, a long-standing restaurant specializing in meat dishes. Now, it has transformed into a multi-function cafe, selling special food made from ham.
The experience in Belgium is not perfect if you forget to visit a chocolate factory. One of the top choices is the Van Hecke store, with over 70 years of operation. Van Hecke’s specialty is chestnut candies with unmistakable flavors, in addition, the shop also has a variety of chocolates suitable for most tastes of visitors.
Each city has its own unique cuisine, and in Ghent it is mustard, more specifically chilli mustard. Tierenteyn – Verlent shop is located near the city center, producing a special spice for over two hundred years without any slight changes. Small shops are always crowded with tourists and locals, all want to have this long-lasting spice. Mustard is made right in the store, in the basement. This is the only place in the world where you can buy a bottle of pure mustard with very unique flavor.
It would be mistake to go to Belgium and skip one of the famous drinks here, beer. Most of the best beers in the world come from Belgium. At Ghent, there is a Gruut brewery which is quite famous for its beer that has great taste without using Hops flowers – flowers used to create bitter taste for beer.
If you have the opportunity to travel to Ghent, stroll through other shops to explore the rich culinary culture of Ghent!
Bruges is one of the famous tourist destinations of Belgium – the most attractive place for you to visit and enjoy the quintessence of a European Christmas.
Known as the “Venice of the North”, Bruges boasts a range of well-preserved medieval buildings, creating a unique atmosphere when you visit this city. Here are a few highlights of the Christmas season in Bruges that you should not miss.
There are many Christmas markets throughout the city of Bruges Belgium
One of the most fascinating reasons to visit this quaint city is the presence of the very interesting Christmas Market. Christmas markets here usually take place at the end of November and throughout December every year.
The two largest and most famous markets in Bruges are Market Palace and Simon Stevinplein. Walking around the stalls is a real joy, when you will see crafts, gifts and decorations. If you are attracted by the delicious flavors of these markets, don’t forget to enjoy Belgian world famous hot waffles and chocolates.
In addition, Christmas markets also sell a variety of clothing and utensils, this is the perfect place to buy great Christmas gifts at low prices on the last days of the fair. In addition to shopping, there are many ways to enjoy these Christmas markets. If you wish, you can skate around the center of Bruges Market Square!
Enjoy extremely attractive Belgian cuisine
If you choose a famous Belgian dish that is known worldwide, it is chocolate. Chocolate is available year-round, but at Christmas you will enjoy some special delicacies during the festival. This may be one of the best chocolate of the year so you can not ignore this dish during Christmas in the Belgian city of Bruges.
If chocolate is not what you are looking for, try exploring the city’s brewery. Some of Belgium’s most famous breweries are located in Bruges. There are many different world famous breweries like Bruges Zot or De Halve Maan offering the rich taste of this world famous drink!
Festive events at Christmas
Bruges, Belgium, hosts the annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which takes place from late November to mid-January. This highly anticipated event is held at the railway station and includes a number of tournaments. Great festive decor along with some of the most fascinating snow ice sculptures are found anywhere across Europe.
Travelers who want to go to Belgium to celebrate Christmas and see the flowers can visit the Magical Winter Moments at Old St John’s Hospital which is the venue for the Christmas flower festival.
This is one of the best times of the year to travel to Belgium, if Bruges is the city you are headed to, do not forget to plan in advance because on this occasion many hotels are very crowded.
Fall in love with the beauty of Bruges, Belgium
Dubbed the “Venice of Northern Europe”, the city of Bruges tops the list of the most beautiful places in Belgium. This city has a romantic beauty with many mossy ancient bridges located on small canals under the underground city and medieval European architecture. Right from the first moments, you will immerse yourself in a fairytale landscape with medieval Gothic-style buildings, charming and peaceful cobblestone streets of Bruges, Belgium. Bruges is a city on the water, so you have to look at the map of the city to see all the confusion of the rivers here. Tiny, curved canals surround the city. In any corner of Bruges, you can see the images of ancient houses silhouetted in the fresh water.
Therefore, the most common way to travel to Bruges is by boat. The boat in Bruges is a small boat without a roof or glass frame, so it is very convenient for those who love photography. Tickets for a tour on the river are 6 euros. The boatman is also a tour guide fluent in three languages, French, Dutch and English, which will explain each place you visit, from the 600-year-old bridge spanning the river, the church, the palace, the museum or the newly built structures later … Taking the horse-drawn carriage is another option to discover Bruges. Small cobblestone streets are around the town square. Beautiful little wooden bridges across the mossy green canals, the ancient churches that when stepped inside, the scene displayed before the eyes was absolutely magnificent and extremely majestic.
The tiny green carpet of Bluebell flowers blooming each spring in the Hallerbos forest makes it a fascinating European tourist destination!
When should you visit Hallerbos forest?
Every year in April, tourists and locals flock to Hallerbos forest for only about 30 km from the Belgian capital Brussels to watch the Bluebells flowers in full bloom on each occasion. Hallerbos turned into a green forest with the ground covered with tiny bluebells flowers.
However, the best time to visit Hallerbos is different each year and depends on the weather. The earlier the temperature rises, the sooner the flowers bloom. However, warmer weather also means that more leafy plants lose the green patches of sunlight, making you see darker purple flowers!
As the Bluebells season is close, the website of the Hallerbos forest publishes daily updates (for the week) on the status of the blue bell flowers. That way, photographers and other Belgian tourists know whether it’s still too early or need to plan to head to this forest right away!
Generally, 10 days after the blue bell flowers begin to bloom is the best time to come here. During small bluebell flowering, the rays of the sun can penetrate through the canopy of the tree and touch the flowers, creating a beautiful color blend of blue and light purple! It is great to get the photos here.
There are different walking paths throughout the Hallerbos forest and visitors are encouraged not to stray the trail so that the flowers are best protected. Those who want to film or hold a photo during the flowering process need to get permission to do that, but it doesn’t matter if you just want to take your camera or phone to take photos of a few flowers.
At each Hallerbos car park there will be a signboard showing the walking trails in the Hallerbos forest, but if you want to follow the route with the most blue bell flowers you have to ask the instructor or download it from the site.
Because the blooming period of the blue bell flowers is very short, a lot of people visit the green forest during the weekends. However it’s not a big deal if you just want to see the flowers and walk, but it will be problematic if you want to get some bluebell photos without someone there, so it’s best to go on weekdays. The best time of the day to visit is in the early morning so you can catch the sunrise through the trees, or in the evening when the sun comes back.
Things to keep in mind when visiting this lovely forest
In recent years, the beauty of Hallerbos forest has been introduced on many major radio and television channels, such as BBC, CNN, AFP. Tens of thousands of tourists from as far away as India. , Finland, Japan, China … flock here to enjoy one of the unique natural beauty of Belgium. Many European tourists come to Belgium at the end of April and early May just for the purpose of discovering this natural beauty.
Visiting this ancient forest, you will not have to pay any fees such as entrance fees, parking … On the weekends of the last three weeks of April and early May, Halle city organizes free shuttle bus from Halle train station to Hallerbos and vice versa.
Although they are quite fragile, bluebell flowers are tough species of wild flowers because they grow back from year to year. But this wild flower is also very vulnerable. When being picked, these bell-shaped flowers will quickly droop and will not be able to flower if accidentally stepped on by tourists. Therefore, visitors to the Hallerbos forest are required to follow the rules of the right path for pedestrians and not step to the flower beds, and step on the flowers when taking pictures. However, unfortunate things still happen.
There are some picnic tables outside Hallerbos but you should go to the toilet before you start walking and bring some water and maybe some snacks. You will have to keep the trash by yourself because there is no trash. There is a pub in the north of the forest but there is no food and drink inside Hallerbos.
Play your favorite music, relax on soft chairs, and explore the United States on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief train, going from Illinois to Arizona through majestic landscapes and small towns.
If you’ve ever read the book “On the road” by writer Jack Kerouac, you must have dreamed of a distant, modern and wild America with true feelings. Obviously, that book has created a ‘Must go’ movement among American youth for generations. And instead of On the road, we can be On the rail road to explore the roads and nooks of rich, prosperous America.
Since the 1950s, trains or indigenous people often called the great iron horse, had to surrender to compact and handy cars. After a short time, people have a nostalgic interest, want to experience the old but new things, so the trains of Amtrak are crowded with tourists, not only on long trips along the corridor of Northeast America. It even becomes a popular travel trend in 2020, according to CNTravel.
One of the most interesting routes is probably the Southwest Chief. The train to explore America through the moonlit Mississippi River, or the golden ways of corn, like Jack Kerouac told in the book 70 years ago, departing from Illinois to Arizona, bringing the hope to see the majestic Grand Canyon at the last station of every passenger.
The train transfers at 3 pm at Chicago’s Union station, one of the more artistic train stations. The 30-hour journey officially begins through Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico before the Southwest Chief arrives in flourishing Los Angeles and stops in Arizona.
The plane only takes about 7 hours and 30 minutes, and the ticket price is only 1/3. If you drive, you will be immersed in the iconic Route 66 highway of America. So why should you travel by train? The two routes above will take away the opportunity to see the Colorado River valley, or see firsthand the craft breweries of Flagstaff. In addition, traveling to the US by train you can feel the comfort and romance, something that the other two vehicles are hard to meet.
Trains exploring the United States often have a variety of room types. And just a basic roomette room, 2 beds with folding tables and air conditioning, power outlet and shower, is enough for any passenger. A little more advanced, there are rooms for 3 people, upper bed is separate from the lower bed. And the most fully furnished room is a family room with 4 separate beds. These rooms are not sumptuous, but quiet and comfortable. A dedicated waiter will prepare the bed and bring food to the room, if the guest wishes.
At night, the train can shake slightly when crossing a curve, or the road is bad, however, you will probably love all the experiences on the road.
According to calculations by scientists from the US Department of Energy, if we explore America by train, it will save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And Amtrak also claims it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 17% since 2010 – thanks to Michael’s high-speed, eco-friendly engines.
When you wake up in the morning, visitors to America will be surprised by the orange sunlight spreading across the snowy forests of Kansas. If you choose a shared room on the train, take a seat on the lower bed, so you can see for yourself the rare and beautiful scenery. From the winter fields, the herds of cattle grazing, and the giraffes, everything is the vivid home furnishings of the house called America.
Guests can fully enjoy coffee from a bartender. The coffee room is designed with high curved windows and seats facing out, allowing sunlight to fill the train. This is the time for you to get acquainted with the passengers on the trip, expand relationships and practice further communication in English. Your companion can be from everywhere, from Asia, England, France to both Amish and Mennonites from far-away Midwestern community.
They will tell you about the great experience. Most people prefer to go by train because it is fast and easy, you just need to give the ticket without having to check-in with airport customs. Breakfast is widely advertised on the speakers and you should find your way to the dining car if you do not know. The surroundings make the simple breakfast of eggs and chips also delicious.
The only drawback is that these trains sometimes have to stop to transport private goods and the weather also affects the route and time. If you are in an urgent job, you will probably be discouraged by the heavy snow, which makes the trains overnight at a roadside station, or worse, right on the tracks. However, if you are leisurely, not too worried about the time, then nothing is more wonderful than the vivid and intuitive scenes that the train offers.
When traveling from New Mexico to Colorado, don’t forget, overlook the doorway. This is the old Santa Fe railway line, built on a mountain pass. Taking the train is connecting, having fun time together, it is different from the isolation in the car, or the isolated coldness of the plane seats. When the train stops at a stop, you can get down to buy some small souvenirs along the way.
Around 9:30 pm, the train will rest in Flagstaff. You can step outside for a walk in the cool, dry air of the Arizona high desert. Visit the Weatherford hotel to enjoy a glass of wine. This hotel is a cultural heritage of the city associated with many legends. Inside, the old furniture and the aroma of wood and whiskey recall its lively history, as well as ghosts that are said to often appear in the hallway and rock the pipes at night.
The next day, about 5 am, the passengers will return to the platform, if you are overnight in Weatherford. Southwest Chief only runs once a day, so if you’re late, you will lose the chance. This train will take you to the final station and end the wonderful journey. The Southwest Chief train in particular and Amtrak in general are gradually showing the old attraction to new people. However, success also comes from assertiveness and upgrades. And the train whistle from the platform, and the happy passengers shaking hands to leave are the greatest gift of the journey. Who knows, maybe we’ll see each other again on the following roads?
Americans have long been excited about the Mardi Gras festival. And if you want to enjoy this festival in the best way, come to Cajun Country, a French-speaking area located in Louisiana, where there is another Mardi Gras filled with pranks.
Mardi in French means Tuesday, Gras is fat or excess. The name of this traditional festival originates from Western countries of Christianity. Most of them have a custom of hoarding food in the house to use for many days. After that, bring them all to enjoy on Tuesday, just before Ash Wednesday, the day that all Christians must be fasting and abstain from meat according to the law.
Gradually, the Mardi Gras festival is no longer a traditional holiday for Christians, but it has become a true festival with massive parades and fun parties. This is considered a very important event in the cultural and spiritual life of people in Cajun Country, Louisiana, United States, taking place around February or March each year. So when traveling to the United States around this time, don’t miss the chance.
Outside a ranch in Eunice, Louisiana, residents gathered in eager mood. Despite the bustling Carnival atmosphere in New Orleans, about three hours away by car, the people here have a way to welcome their own Mardi Gras, which is to chase chickens.
This festival has a slightly longer common name, Courir de Mardi Gras. It is held annually in southern Lousiana, according to the Cajun tradition, also on Fat Tuesday. According to the legend of the French, in the Middle Ages, the poor would disguise themselves in masks and straw hats called capuchons. They performed excitedly in exchange for food on the holiday.
This Madi Gras festival has a deeper connection to the people of Cajun than Christmas. They vary slightly from the original French. With no rewards for beautiful boys, girls, or numerous carnival, Mardi Gras new style in Eunice is more about prankster jokes and uniting people.
Many localities in Cajun still hold Madi Gras in a closed way, preventing women and outsiders from participating. However, some places are more open and organized full of interesting activities, such as Courir de Mardi Gras in Eunice. In 2006, Grammy-winning musician and producer, Joel Savoy and his colleague, Linzay Young, organized the event in parallel with the traditional event, and were attended by nearly 900 people. Since then this festival has become an expected annual activity.
Courir de Mardi Gras is like a big party, and is not for the faint of heart. Traditional activities, in addition to humorous races such as catching chickens, then all together roll a few miles to see who is the first to reach the destination. There was no discrimination, even the cheerleader was adorable: “Hey, Mardi Gras – happy Mardi Gras!”.
At the beginning of the festival, a designated Capitaine will lead. Everyone has to wear colorful costumes, without exception. There will be men and women responsible for the “warning”, in their hands are colorful whips, and anyone who dares to play too much will be punished immediately. Until the official festival begins, people are allowed to rush out like bees to burst their nests and chase chickens in the vast grasslands.
After a few hours of fun, everyone will relax on the grass, and enjoy delicious spicy sausages. Those who are not tired, can participate in climbing a pole, with a chicken on it. The person who gets the chicken will lift it up. Usually the chicken will be safe to go, not fall into the pot like many other Mardi Gras festivals.
Courir de Mardi Gras may be noisy, but it is a meaningful activity for the Cajun culture and community. It usually ends around 2pm, when music and better meals await everyone at the hotel.
Dr Barry Jean Ancelet, a Cajun folklore researcher and author of Capitaine, Voyage Ton Flag, said: “Courir de Mardi Gras is trying to create joy, shake up the old customs long time ago thought it is difficult to replace. I was surprised by the creativity in the organization, as well as the integration of traditional masks into the fun.”