A little bit of Christmas in July history. . .
History of the Christmas bonfires…
When did the traditional Christmas Eve bonfires on the levee along the Mississippi River begin in Louisiana?
The tradition was brought to the Louisiana River Parishes by the French and German settlers.
The Christmas Yule, known in France as "La Buche de Noel", is also believed to be a remnant of the ancient winter solstice fires.
The French summer fires of St. John the Baptist are spectacular, and joyful celebrations called “Le Feu de la St. –Jean D’Ete”.
In Germany, from the Rhine River through Bavaria the summer bonfires are called “sonnenwende”.
Those pyramidal constructed bonfires are almost identical to the traditional
Christmas Eve levee bonfires in Louisiana. The Louisiana River Parishes were settled in the early 1700's by French and Germans. Those first settlers continued to celebrate with summer and winter bonfires customs and traditions from their native lands. Their many descendants still celebrate the present-day Christmas Eve levee bonfires! It is a fun event to ride down the river road and see the miles of bonfires burning.
New Orleans is on the mend since Hurricane Katrina. There has been a lot of progress in the city. Come visit Louisiana and like we say here, “PASS A GOOD TIME”.
Check out the web site for the Baton Rouge Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: