The folks at Louisiana Folklife have reminded me of the amazing and historic traditions behind some of our favorite holidays, so I thought I would pass them along to you today. We love living in a state with so much history and uniqueness! Read more in depth about the traditions here.

  • All Saints Day. The day after Halloween, and called 'La Toussaint' here in the Bayou State. A Catholic Holy Day of Obligation and a day of family unity. Many people would gather at graves of loved ones to enjoy a picnic lunch, whitewash the headstones, and decorate them with coronne de toussaints, a wreath of artificial or fresh flowers.
  • Thanksgiving. We celebrate the same way as the rest of the USA, but our foods tend to differ. Instead of a turkey on the table, many families used pork from one of the  boucheries in the area. A boucherie was a community event which provided food for the upcoming cold weather.
  • Christmas. In the Acadiana town of Roberts Cove, St. Nicholas Day, December 5th, is celebrated by the German descendants that have made the area their home. According to Louisiana Folklife 'families gather to 'to await Kris Kringle (St. Nicholas) and Black Peter to bring treats for the good children.' In St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes, since the mid 1800's bonfires have been lit along the levees of the Mississippi River. The tradtion started with the Marist priests at Jefferson College in Convent, LA., and you can check them out in the video below.
  • New Year's Eve. In some rural areas of Louisiana 'Bonhomme Janvier' is celebrated. The 'snowy-bearded bearer of good tiding, would pass and leave fruit and nuts in the children's shoes and stockings'. New Year's was considered to be the time to exchange gifts, not Christmas. In south Louisiana, New Year's day was a time to visit house to house, and perhaps sing about 'bonne annee', like in the french creole song by Canray Fontenot. Black eyed peas and cabbage would also be served, to insure good luck and money in the coming year.