Interesting Louisiana Holiday Traditions

Interesting Louisiana Holiday Traditions

Learn how Christmas is celebrated in the Big Easy!

Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world, and every culture celebrates the holiday in their own special way.  The people of Louisiana are no different; putting their own spin on winter holiday celebrations.  Here are some of the most interesting Louisiana holiday traditions.

Many people in Louisiana remember staying up on Christmas Eve to attend midnight mass and coming home to a hot pot of gumbo on the stove.  Some might even recall “breakfast dances” which were held in some of the clubs until sunrise following these midnight masses.  Unfortunately, this tradition ended when closing laws dictated that clubs would have to close their doors at 2:00 am.  Most people in South Louisiana recall that gift giving was a modest affair, with children getting a small trinket or a piece of fruit and adults rarely exchanging gifts at all.

In the Mississippi River Parishes of St. James and St. John the Baptist, it’s traditional to welcome the winter holiday by lighting bonfire on the levee—a practice that dates back to the min-1800s.  The tradition originated from a French practice, where they would light fires to announce the New Year.  In Louisiana, the practice was converted to welcome Christmas Day.  Today, teams of young men organize in an attempt the light the biggest and most unique bonfire.  In fact, the competition is so fierce that teams post 24-hour guard during fire construction to protect against theft and sabotage.

These are some of the most nostalgic and interesting holiday traditions celebrated in Louisiana.  Still curious about Louisiana’s culture and history?  Then mark your calendar for the next Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival.  In summer of 2018, Simi Valley will come alive with Cajun music and food, zydeco music, blues music, a Mardi Gras parade, zydeco dance lessons, and more!  To learn more about this exciting local event, contact Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival today.