Every year, December, one of my thoughts involves the Cajun Christmas story. Papa Noël heads to the homes in South Louisiana, Santa Claus heads to homes in North Louisiana (and beyond). No winter in South Louisiana, which means no reindeer, no sled. Papa Noël cruises down bayous and rivers in a boat, very similar to a kayak, known as a pirogue, pronounced as pe’-ro. Papa Noel’s pirogue (pe’-ro) gets around pulled by eight (8) alligators. Their names are:
- and Gaston
For those of us who are familiar with Santa Claus (aka St. Nick), a common understanding is that this, somewhat chubby, giver of gifts shows up garbed in red winter wear. Papa Noël dresses differently, appropriately, in a combination of “long johns” and muskrat fur. Now, one must realize that the story line is accompanied by Cajun vocabulary, words, and expressions that some may not understand. The good news is a) you will still understand the story; and b) you will probably enjoy this Christmas tale. Among the different versions, I hope you use this link. Some of the accounts are inaccurate, and of lesser quality.