December 24, 2016 – Not your traditional Christmas Vacation. Most people think of snow, reindeer, or mistletoe, not 80-degrees, gators, and palmettos. Different, but that’s why I like it. We started Christmas Eve day with a stroll down the Mississippi. We walked around Jackson Square for awhile and picked up a Muffuletta from Central Grocery and fried chicken from Willie Mae’s Scotch House, then drove out to the bonfires in St. James Parish. What?
What is it? The simultaneous lighting of bonfires on top of the levee in St. John and St. James parishes on Christmas Eve, a centuries-old tradition whose true origin belongs to the ages. Some people say the fires provided light for people attending Christmas Eve Mass. Others say that it was started as a beacon to help direct Papa Noel, or Santa Claus. [From Nola.com]