Louisiana American, Seasonal November 20, 2018
6 Cajun Holiday Traditions Every Louisianian Has Experienced
As you would expect, Louisiana celebrates the winter holidays a little bit differently than other states. From gator lighting displays to gumbo on Christmas Day, there are some traditions that just run deep for us. If you’ve lived here for a while, then you’re sure to recognize these six holiday traditions.
1. You've visited the Noel Acadien au Village.
This living history museum transforms into a magical wonderland for the holidays with over 500,000 lights that will simply mesmerize you. The enchanting event takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on November 30 through December 23. You'll find it at 200 Greenleaf Dr., Lafayette, LA 70506.
2. You read the "Cajun Night Before Christmas."
This popular book swaps Santa's reindeer for gators in a fun parallel universe where things get a bit Cajun-ified.
3. You've visited Natchitoches to see the stunning light display.
Perhaps the most visited holiday attraction in Louisiana, Natchitoches’ Christmas Festival is truly a sight to see. Both the Cane River Lake and the historic downtown area are illuminated with over 300,000 twinkling lights and set pieces brilliant enough to put the Grinch into the holiday spirit. For more about this merry event, check out our recent feature article
4. You've warm up at the bonfires on the levee.
This Christmas Eve celebration dates back to the earliest settlers of Louisiana and it’s great fun for the whole family. More than 100 bonfires in St. James Parish will light the way for Papa Noel as he makes his way across southern Louisiana.
5. You've delighted in Reveillon Dinner.
Derived from the French word for "awakening," Reveillon originally was a meal served after the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The tradition died out in the 1940s, but many New Orleans restaurants sought to revive the delicious tradition in the 1990s. Today, landmark restaurants like Tujague’s, Commander’s Palace, and many others put their own unique spin on this historic meal.
6. You wear shorts and flip-flops on Christmas Day.
The weather in Louisiana can change at a moments notice, and that means you can be all bundled up one day and in your summer gear the next. We've experienced may Christmases where the temperature is warmer than usual, resulting in a rather summery Christmas. But hey, it beats shoveling snow, right?
What are your favorite holiday traditions in Louisiana? Share them with us in the comments below!
For more festive fun in the Bayou State, hop in the car for the
Holiday Trail of Lights Road Trip and check out the million glittering lights illuminating the night at Candy Cane Lane!
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