Cajun Christmas in Southern Louisiana: Traditions and Events

Cajun Country in Louisiana celebrates the holidays just like the rest of the nation however they like to throw in some Cajun holiday traditions that make for a merry ol’ time!

Cajun Christmas traditions that mark the holidays always involve lots of laughter in the company of friends and family. Many holiday dinners include having seafood dishes like seafood gumbo and oyster dressing. Look for Cajun sausage and fried turkey—or a signature Louisiana Turducken! Bread pudding, pralines, fudge candy, pound cake and divinity are some of the desserts served.

Christmas Eve in Cajun Country has a slightly different version of the “Night Before Christmas.” The “Cajun Night Before Christmas” is read in local lingo and follows a similar story line except gumbo replaces sugar plums, Santa is dressed head to toe in muskrat pelts and instead of reindeer and sleighs, alligators pull Santa in a skiff (small boat used in coastal areas)!

A Cajun Christmas tradition is to visit the Noel Acadien au Village in Lafayette

Wander through the thousands of lights at the Noel Acadien au Village in Lafayette.

Bonfire on the Levee

Experience this Louisiana Cajun Christmas tradition — Festival of Bonfires in Lucher, Louisiana.

Cajun Christmas Traditions, Holiday Celebrations and Events in Louisiana

Head to St. James Parish for the Festival of Bonfires, in Lutcher on Thursday, Dec. 14 – 16, 2018. This tradition dates back to the 1800s and was a carryover from French and German traditions of lighting bonfires around the holidays. The bonfires are constructed as four-sided wooden plank structures that easily burn bright. The festival is, of course, accompanied by live entertainment, food and even carnival rides. Learn more about the Festival of Bonfires.

Lafayette rings of zydeco beats throughout the holiday season at their annual Cajun & Creole Christmas Celebrations from Nov. 18 - Dec. 31, 2018. The celebrations include everything from Christmas parades and tree lighting ceremonies, to symphony orchestras, caroling and shopping extravaganzas. Don’t miss the Noel Acadien au Village in Lafayette to view more than 500,000 lights illuminating the night. Enjoy nightly entertainment, local cuisine and photos with Santa. View the full Lafayette Holiday event calendar for complete schedules and information.

Lake Charles and the surrounding area hosts the annual Cajun Christmas festival that begins Nov. 15 – Dec. 31, 2018. Discover the 12 Days of Christmas in Sulphur that include holiday theater and concert performances, carnival rides, a holiday market, live music, a balloon parade and the Spectacle of Lights. Have some Community Coffee and breakfast with Santa at the Christmas Under the Oaks of Sulphur Festival. Don’t miss the Light Up the Lake Christmas Celebration that starts with a street parade through downtown Lake Charles and ends with a lighting ceremony and Lighted Boat Parade all culminating with a fireworks finale! Get the full calendar of holiday events taking place in Lake Charles and the surrounding area or see the top seven events in Lake Charles.

Discover even more Christmas events in Northern Louisiana on the Holiday Trail of Lights. Celebrate with eight cities across central and northern Louisiana.