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Celebrate the Holidays
New Orleans Style

Christmas arrives in a blaze of glory every year when huge, creatively built bonfires are lit at sundown on top of the Mississippi River levees. Lighting the way for Papa Noël, it’s a spectacular sight!

Papa Noël

Around the world Santa Claus has many names. But in a deep, swampy bayou of Louisiana, the Cajun Santa Claus is known as Papa Noël. Instead of delivering gifts by sleigh and reindeer, he travels in a boat pulled by eight alligators, with a snowy white one named Nicollette in the lead.

Ever wondered what’s inside our beautiful French Quarter and Garden District homes? Take a tour inside and enjoy festive decorations and New Orleans hospitality.

City Park’s centuries-old live oak trees shine brilliantly with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and breathtaking displays. This is one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country.

A New Orleans Creole dining experience that dates back to the mid-1800s. The Creoles celebrated the start of Christmas with a big family meal when they returned home from midnight mass. Today the best restaurants in town serve up decadent four-course holiday meals in the spirit of this classic tradition.

Réveillon (REH-vee-on)

A long dinner held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The name of this dinner is based on the French word réveil (meaning “waking”), because participation involves staying awake until midnight and beyond.

Explore the music scene this December with caroling in Jackson Square, gospel choirs in historic cathedrals, and jazz bands in our plazas.