Who was Jean Lafitte?

Jean Lafitte, the New Orleans Pirate.

Jean Lafitte: an American pirate or national hero? When and where he was born is unclear, and when and where he died is a mystery. And yet, he remains one of the most recognized names and talked about figures in New Orleans and Louisiana history. Although the facts vary, the stories are the same: he made a name for himself as a privateer and became a hero to many Louisiana natives. Beginnings of a Pirate Life Born sometime between 1770 and 1776 either in France or maybe in what’s now Tahiti (we told you the facts varied!), Lafitte’s first appearance […]

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History and Symbols of the Louisiana State Flag

Louisiana State Flag

For visitors to Louisiana, it’s easy to remember the most popular Cajun traditions like Mardi Gras, Cajun and Zydeco music, celebrations for every occasion and, of course, the delicious food that can only be found in South Louisiana. But one tradition you may not be so quick to remember is our unique state flag that depicts a pelican tearing at her breast to feed her young chicks. But why does that particular image grace the flag of Louisiana? We Cajuns take pride in the the history of that flag and the motto that accompanies it – “Union, Justice and Confidence.” […]

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Legends from the Bayou

Eerie Louisiana Swamp

The Cajun and Creole people of Louisiana are well-known for their folklore legends passed down from one generation to the next. From the swamps of the bayou to the civilized inner cities, mysterious stories abound. As many legends originate from true events, some unexplainable stories become that much more frightening. The Rougarou In the swampy bayous of the south, the beast is known as the “rougarou” or the “loup-garou.” The legend of the wolf-man like creatures began centuries ago in France. The tales arrived in the states with French immigrants and evolved over time. The swamp creature is said to […]

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History of the Shotgun House

Shotgun house in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Few things reflect Louisiana’s unique architecture better than the shotgun house. Second only to the plantation home in terms of familiarity, the shotgun house has an interesting history that reveals much about Louisiana culture. If you pay us a visit, you’ll likely encounter many examples of this modest dwelling on your trip. How the Shotgun House Got Its Name Ask someone at random how the shotgun house got its name, and you’ll probably get the common answer. It is said that because these houses have no hallways, a shotgun could be fired through the open front door and the shot […]

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The History of the Louisiana Crawfish Boil

Louisiana Crawfish Boil

One of the first things you’ll notice about the culture here in South Louisiana is our appreciation of family, friends and good food. Meals aren’t just a way to satisfy our hunger. They’re a way for us to bond and share the Cajun way of life with others. Few gatherings satisfy this desire better than a good old fashioned crawfish boil. Louisiana Backyard Culture As soon as our brief winter season has passed and the weather turns mild again, those of us in Louisiana begin to make our way outdoors. It’s a good thing our winters are short because most […]

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What Is Mardi Gras?

Courir de Mardi Gras

“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” is something we say often in South Louisiana, especially as the New Year comes and we prepare to celebrate Mardi Gras. It means, “Let the good times roll!” You see, the holiday season doesn’t end here on January 1st. We let the good times roll right on through February and March as we enjoy one of the most fun-filled aspects of our unique culture. The History of Mardi Gras The origins of Mardi Gras, or Carnival as it is known in other countries, far exceed the arrival of the Cajun people in Louisiana. Many believe […]

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What Makes it Cajun?

Authentic Cajun Emblem

Here in Louisiana, good food and good times are an essential part of our culture. We don’t just cook special meals for birthday or holiday celebrations, either. The Cajun people embrace fine eating 365 days a year. If you make it down our way for a visit, you’ll quickly discover there are a few things that really distinguish Cajun dining. Family and Friends You might be surprised that the first item on this list isn’t a food or one of Louisiana’s legendary seasonings at all. First and foremost, Cajun meals are meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. Sharing […]

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History of the Mardi Gras King Cake

King Cake

If you’ve had the chance to visit South Louisiana, you know that the culture is quite unlike any other, especially when it comes to food. Cajun Country is filled to the brim with an abundance of culinary traditions, but the Mardi Gras king cake may rank as one of the most popular—and well known. This treat continues to reign supreme during Mardi Gras season for Louisianians and travelers alike. But before you dive hand-first into your own freshly sliced king cake, let’s take a trip back to learn more about how the king cake first came into power.   Long […]

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