Will You Be Celebrating The Cajun French Tradition ‘La Toussaint’? [Video]
Halloween night will be a fun night of parties, scares and candy. Many families across South Louisiana will also be getting prepared for the November 1st Cajun French tradition of "La Toussaint". Will you?
"La Toussaint" or All Saints Day to everyone else, is a Catholic holy day of obligation. Because of South Louisiana's geographical makeup, most of our graveyards have above ground tombs. "La Toussaint" is the day we go to our loved one's grave sites and tombs to clean, decorate and pay respect. It actually serves both a practical and a social function.
From knowla.org -
In the past, families repaired tombs and coated them with a mix of lime and water (whitewash) to seal the structure. They also cleared overgrowth and weeds and placed floral arrangements, or coronne de toussaints, on the graves to show their respect for the dead. In years past, women would make wreaths of crepe paper or waxed paper, known as immortelles or couronnes, and sell them at churches and cemeteries on All Saints Day, but that tradition waned as more durable plastic flowers came into vogue.
In Lacomb, Louisiana and many places around South Louisiana, "La Toussaint" continues into a beautiful night celebration. Tombs and gravesides are lit up with hundreds of candles as far as the eye can see.
Below is an awesome and haunting video showing the "La Toussaint" night celebration in Lacombe.
Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys have a fantastic song celebrating and explaining the tradition.
The English translation of the song is below.
The First of November, All Saints Day
We gather together,
To place flowers on the tombs
To remember and honor our ancestors,
To honor their labors and wisdom.
It's enough to be buried in these tombs.
Dear children, don't bury us with noise and money.
Get in tune, get in tune with us.
Get in tune and play something we can dance to.