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 - perfect hot dishes for the chilly season. Look for Cajun sausage and fried turkey—or a signature Louisiana Turducken! Bread pudding, pralines, pound cake, fudge 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 storyline 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)!
Cajun Christmas Traditions, Holiday Celebrations and Events in Louisiana
Head to St. James Parish for the Festival of Bonfires in Lutcher. 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.
Lafayette rings of zydeco beats throughout the holiday season at their annual Cajun & Creole Christmas Celebrations. 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 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 host the annual Cajun Christmas featuring holiday lights, Christmas events and even boudin-themed carols. Don’t miss the Light Up the Lake Christmas Festival that offers carriage rides, a street parade, a lighting ceremony, and a lighted boat parade - all culminating with a fireworks finale! Or have some coffee and breakfast with Santa at Sulphur’s Christmas Under the Oaks Festival – complete with a carnival, bands, snow and more. Get the full calendar of events taking place in the Lake Charles area.
Discover even more Christmas events and celebrate with eight cities across central and northern Louisiana on the Holiday Trail of Lights.