Monday, December 14

Papa Noël

Papa Noël
(Cajun French)
A Little Louisiana Christmas Culture
This version of St. Nicholas came to North America with the families of French fur traders who trapped in Canada and shipped furs down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. Soon the Cajun French were calling him Papa Noel, which means Father Christmas. He usually wears a cream colored coat and furs and always carries a "crèche" (manger scene) and other religious symbols. He does not bring toys, but provides plenty of firewood for warmth through the Holy Night. Many bonfires are built to honor him on Christmas Eve.
If you walk around the French Quarter this time of year, you'll see a big fellow covered in fur and ofter carrying a hatchet. No Lie! I'm assuming it's to cut down wood for the many bonfires. Yet, the kids still love him no matter how scary he may come off.

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