Here in Acadiana, we have our own unique ways of celebrating holidays, and New Year's Eve is no exception.

 

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Cajun New Year's Eve Tradition

In Cajun and Creole culture, there's an age old New Year's Eve tradition surrounding Madame Grands Doigts, or "Madam Long Fingers".

According to legend, Mademoiselle Grands Doigts was "known for her beauty, her generosity, and the long fingers that lend her her name." As such, she had many local men lining up for her attention.

That is until a few "Cajun Mean Girls" got so jealous they put a curse on Mademoiselle Grands Doigts, causing her fingers to be covered in warts and her skin to turn scaly like "a crawfish sack" according to johnettedowning.com.

Because of her cursed, hideous condition, she begins to live in seclusion in her attic, only coming down on New Year's Eve.

From whereyat.com -

"For the good kids, she leaves fruit, candy, trinkets, or coins, either in their stockings or in their shoes, which have been purposely left out for her arrival. She makes use of her long, boney fingers to shove goodies all the way to the very end of the good children's shoes."

What about the kids who weren't good all year?

Well, it can be a lot more serious than just getting some coal like with Santa.

Peter Herrmann Via Unsplash.com
Peter Herrmann Via Unsplash.com
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The price to pay from Madame Grands Doigts can be as simple as her pinching kid's toes while they sleep to even pinching them off and eating them.

Some stories say Madame Grands Doigts will grab kids by the back of their neck and even stuff them in a sack

From whereyat.com -

"Some people believe that Madame Grands Doigts wears a fashionable necklace of little children's dismembered toes around her neck. It's enough to scare the Cajun children into virtuousness all year round."

You can read more about Madame Grands Doigts over at whereyat.com and johnettedowning.com.

 

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