Monday, March 17, 2008

March Madness in New Orleans

St. Patrick's day is a pretty big deal in New Orleans with parades and festivities comparable to Mardi Gras. It's also close to St. Joseph's Day and sometimes the festivities are combined.

One of the largest and oldest organizations, The Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club held their annual parade on Saturday. It began with a pre-parade mass and then a parade up Magazine Street. Riders on the floats throw cabbages to the people along the parade route. There was also a parade in the French Quarter on Friday and today more parades in Metarie and downtown.

Earlier in the month there were also several Italian parades in honor of St. Joseph's day and one Irish-Italian-Islenos Community Parade in Chalmette. There are also elaborate St. Joseph's Day altars set up in churches and in private homes.

A lesser know tradition is Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday held on the Sunday nearest St. Joseph's Day. This is the most important time for the Mardi Gras Indians aside from Mardi Gras day. The various Indian tribes dress in their elaborate costumes and parade in various locations around the city and meet up with other tribes where mock battles are sometimes staged.
These are not my pictures. I wish they were. I haven't been back to New Orleans since sometime in the 90's. I'm glad to see that Katrina didn't destroy all the traditions that make New Orleans such a unique and wonderful place to live or visit.

No comments: