We all know about candy canes and Frosty the Snowman, then there is Rudolph who gets first place in leading the sleigh on Christmas Eve with his nose so bright. Come to Louisiana and we will share with you some different traditions because we think that is a part of Christmas. Sharing - sharing our traditions.
* In Louisiana, we call Santa Claus Papa Noel.
* Every year people light bonfires on the Mississippi River levees to light the way for him.
* The bonfires are believed to have been started two hundred years ago according to our legends.
* At 7 P.M. on Christmas Eve the bonfires are lit so that Papa Noel can find his way to all of the houses in Louisiana throughout the night.
* In some parts of Cajun country, Papa Noel takes a different persona on altogether, and is called Cajun Papa Noel.
* Cajun Papa Noel doesn't have eight reindeer; he has eight Alligators that guide his river boat.
* Step aside Rudolph and watch your "deer behind" because Cajun Papa Noel has Nicolette leading that boat. She has green glowing eyes instead of a bright red nose.
* There is also the Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake) that many Louisiana families eat on Christmas Eve.
* While many people know about Louisiana's Mardi Gras tradition, few know that the beginning of Mardi gras, or Twelfth night, which is twelve days after Christmas, is the end of the Christmas celebrations here. You may know it as the 12 Days of Christmas.
* On twelfth night, Louisianans have King Cake. The King Cake is a cake that has a figurine of baby Jesus baked into it. Whoever gets the baby Jesus gets to buy the King Cake next year.
There you have it, some of our wonderful Cajun traditions in Lousiana - if you visit at Christmas watch out for Nicolette.