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A former middle school principal, I am blissfully enjoying retirement with the Headmaster! Thank you for visiting, commenting, and following!

22 December 2012

Allumant la manière pour Papa Noël


South of Baton Rouge, about halfway to New Orleans, the River Parishes have a charming and quite old tradition of lighting the way for Papa Noel (Santa) so he can find the children who live along the Mississippi River.  For years and years, families have been building huge structures that are lit every Christmas Eve up and down the levee.  We have never seen this lovely celebration, but hopefully this Christmas Eve we will be able to along with my younger son and his wife.

Today, though, we thought we'd make a 'dry run' so we would kind of know where we were going and to see the structures before they are lit.  Most of the ones we saw were in Paulina, a little bitty town in St. James Parish.  Each family has a particular area of the levee where they build their bonfires, and we were able to see some already built, and some still under construction.  It looks like HUGE fun, and from what I understand, Christmas Eve is bumper to bumper traffic along the River Road, with great houseparties going on (if you know someone)!

So, here, for your viewing pleasure, are some of the ones we saw today:


Most were the traditional 'teepee' style structure, and some had willow branches around the outside which, I assume, aids the fire (they burn for hours);
Some are built as real structures--I think I might be able to live in that one!  But up it will go on Christmas Eve!


As you can see, some folks can be very creative!


The Headmaster insisted on having his picture made with Santa in a pirogue, which had eight alligators pulling it (sorry, no pics of the gators)!




And this one was especially poignant.  




If we can get our act together after church on Christmas Eve, we'll give this trip a try.
En attendant, le directeur et je tiens à vous souhaiter à tous un Joyeux Noël!
*In the meantime, the Headmaster and I wish all of you a very 
Merry Christmas!*
Saturday Nite Special ~ Funky Junk Interiors
Masterpiece Monday ~ Boogieboard Cottage
Mop It Up Monday ~ I Should Be Mopping The Floor
Debbiedoo's Newbie Party ~ Debbiedoo's
Mosaic Monday ~ The Little Red House
Show Me What You Got ~ Our Delightful Home




26 comments:

  1. I have never heard of this-it is so stunning. I do hope you get to go back when they are lit. The Sandy Hook one is very sad and very sweet-God bless their families.

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    1. Ellie: it is an age-old tradition; I hope you looked at the link for the history! It's so odd; we are about 40 miles up river and about 100 years ahead of this charming tradition. South Louisiana is just amazing in its communities and traditions! If we DO get back, I will certainly post photos! Thank you so much for commenting!
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!
      ~N

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  2. WHAT a fun tradition. I hope you get to see it. I have never heard of it before- xo Diana

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    1. Thanks, Diana! Just seeing the structures was exciting!
      ~N

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  3. The folks in Louisiana know how to party!!!!! The Jack Daniels one is SUPER fun and creative! You KNOW the folks invited to that one will have a great time!!! I'm overjoyed to see the tribute one with the individual angels. Very sweet, very thoughtful. Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe, happy New Year! (Visiting from Seasonal Sundays.)

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Alycia!
      Merry Christmas to you!
      ~N

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  4. Nancy, this looks to be a fabulous event. How dramatic when all of these are lit. Hope you get to go and enjoy the sights.
    Thanks for sharing this tradition with us. Merry Christmas to you and your family..........Sarah

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Sarah! I think it would be way cool to view it from a plane!
      ~N

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  5. What a charming tradition. Oh I hope you go and share the pictures with us! I have never heard of this, but I love it. Dianne

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    1. Thank you, Dianne! We're crossing our fingers that the weather doesn't keep us from going!
      ~N

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  6. I have never heard of this - what fun!! I bet it is a magical evening - thank you for sharing this with us! Merry Christmas.

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  7. what an interesting and fun tradition! I had never heard of it. I hope you get to go down later today again. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Wishing you and yours a safe and joyous Christmas. I am linking up to you through Mosaic Monday.

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  8. What a wonderful tradition! We watched Santa come down the Rainbow River on a boat tonight...I'll have a post up tomorrow! It's fun to see how we celebrate in different parts of the country! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Can't wait to see Santa on the boat! Merry Christmas!
      ~N

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  9. I have never heard of this! Oh yes, that memorial will be poignant indeed. My husband is reading a book about the Mississippi right now so I'm calling him in to see these. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks, Vee! I think it would be so cool to see this from a plane!
      ~N

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  10. (He said you might be interested to know that his book is about the 1927 Flood of the Mississippi. He liked your post. He wants to go see it, too. =D )

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  11. What fun! I imagine that this must be a much-anticipated event each year. Enjoy!

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    1. Crossing our fingers for Christmas Eve!
      Merry Christmas!
      ~N

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  12. I have heard of this -- and it looks like something I would enjoy too. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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    1. Storms expected tonight :( We'll know in late afternoon whether they will be able to light. Merry Christmas!
      ~N

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  13. What a fun tradition! I would love to see all the bonfires. Looks like some people get really creative, like the Jack Daniels bottle. I am sure Santa will find his way there. Great post and photos. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen! We're hoping the weather cooperates. Merry Christmas to you!
      ~N

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