Holidays in New Orleans are nothing short of magical. If you’re looking for an extra-special way to celebrate the season, this city has it all!
With so many special events filling the city with cheer, there’s no shortage of festivities to partake in. But there are a few standout activities that take any New Orleans holiday adventure to the next level.
Enjoy the holidays in New Orleans with these Top 3 holiday celebrations in NOLA!
Caroling in Jackson Square
Since 1946, Christmas carolers have upheld one of New Orleans’ most charming holiday traditions: a candle-lit gathering in Jackson Square to sing, celebrate, and spread holiday cheer.
It’s a uniquely NOLA event with heartwarming sounds and sights for all ages to enjoy. The iconic French Quarter park fills with hundreds of candles and uplifted voices, with the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral as a backdrop. All are invited to join and sing at this special holiday moment that you won’t want to miss!
This year’s Caroling in Jackson Square celebration takes place on Sunday, December 22nd. And it’s just a few steps away from our luxury French Quarter hotel.
Bonfires on the Levee
The holiday spirit shines brightest in New Orleans with a unique, cherished tradition: Bonfires on the Levee. Throughout the month of December, NOLA’s neighboring towns and parishes host celebratory levee bonfires – the most well-known gathering taking place on Christmas Eve.
Dozens of towering wooden structures are built along the banks of the Mississippi River where all are welcome to gather and see them get set ablaze at sundown.
The custom dates back to the region’s earliest Cajun settlers who built the bonfires to light the way for “Papa Noël,” the Cajun Santa Claus, on his journey to spread holiday cheer. Today the tradition continues to light up the night with a dazzling, heartwarming sight!
And getting to the celebration is simple when you book your stay at Hotel Monteleone. There are stress-free local buses and sightseeing tours specifically reserved for bonfire festival goers, like the Grayline Christmas Eve Bonfire Adventure.
While the holiday season winds down in other cities after the new year, New Orleans keeps the good times rolling.
The city celebrates the final hurrah of the holiday season on January 6th, also known as Twelfth Night – the official start of the Carnival season!
Twelfth Night offers tons of Mardi Gras excitement: The first King Cakes of the year. The Phunny Phorty Phellows and their Uptown streetcar festivities. And here in the French Quarter, the Joan of Arc Parade is the night’s main event.
The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc holds their walking parade every year to celebrate the birthday of Joan of Arc, the patron saint of New Orleans.
It’s a medieval-themed, theatrical procession filled with family-friendly costumes, throws, and fanfare – and it all takes place just a few blocks from Hotel Monteleone.
The parade travels through the French Quarter, traditionally stopping three times for pageantry: the krewe will make a toast at the Historic New Orleans Collection, perform a sword blessing at Saint Louis Cathedral and finish with a king cake ceremony at Washington Artillery Park, across from Jackson Square.
It’s a treasured celebration that honors the city’s heritage – and makes for the perfect high note to a NOLA-style holiday season!
All the joy of the holidays is just outside your door when you stay at Hotel Monteleone. Plan a holiday adventure in New Orleans this year and fill your holiday season with spectacular festivities – book your holiday stay today and enjoy 15% off standard rates!