I was really taken by this description of a Cajun Christmas from Louisianatravel.com that I have decided to reprint it.
“Some 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. (Turducken is a dish consisting of a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, which is in turn stuffed into a deboned turkey. The word turducken is a portmanteau of turkey, duck, and chicken.)
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.”
Head to St. James Parish for the Festival of Bonfires, in Lutcher each year. 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 and hot! The festival is, of course, accompanied by live entertainment, food and even carnival rides. Visit the Festival of Bonfires website for more information.
Lafayette rings of zydeco beats throughout the holiday season at their annual Cajun & Creole Christmas Celebrations. The celebrations last the entire month of December with everything from art walks to Christmas parades, symphony orchestras, carolling and shopping extravaganzas. Don’t miss the Noel Acadian 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 Lafayette website for complete schedules and information.
Lake Charles hosts its annual Cajun Christmas festival that also celebrates throughout the month of December. Wander through the Mistletoe & Moss shopping event or head to the Imperial Calcasieu Museum for their winter Snow Village display. Have some Community Coffee and breakfast with Santa at the Christmas under the Oaks Festival in Sulphur. Don’t miss the Light Up the Lake Christmas Celebration begins on Dec. 7 each year with a street parade through downtown Lake Charles and lots of free events from Santa’s Workshop, Lighting Ceremony and Lighted Boat Parade with a fireworks finale!”