Guess what today is. Briana, don’t believe everything you read. It’s Hallowe’en in New Orleans. Then, it will be All Saints’ Day. Then, it will be All Souls’ Day. Then, it will be the rest of us’s days. Every day is Hallowe’en in New Orelans. Not every day is Mardi Gras Day.
When you live in New Orleans you get used to seeing people wearing costumes. It is an overt and obvious way of life here, much more so than in other cities. I don’t know when was the last time you passed someone on the street wearing a tricorner hat but, unless you live in Sturbridge Village or in New Orleans, I’ll bet the last time you saw one in your town was in 1976, America’s bicentennial. You can dress as you please in New Orleans and no one will ever treat you differently. New Orleans is a city with 389,000 citizens that is visited by 18.5 million visitors every year. You can wear your Bermuda shorts and fanny pack, with zinc oxide on your nose, and you’ll still be served in most of the fanciest restaurants in town. Welcome to New Orleans. Be yourself. That’s what we do.
You never know what you’ll find in New Orleans when you turn a corner here. It’s all wonderful.
The New Orleans tricentennial was last year. This year, in 2019, New Orleans is officially three hundred one-derful years old. There are more sides to New Orleans than there are flavors of ice cream.
There are more holidays in New Orleans than there are days on a regular calendar. It’s like the minutes that make up a New Orleans day. Time runs in a parallel track to the rest of the world in New Orleans, but it is not so true that it doesn’t deviate a little now and then.
Tonitht is Hallowe’en in New Orleans. The vampires will be out. The voodoo queens will be out, too. All sorts of cranks and misfits and ne’er-do-wells, tricksters, pranksters, con-men, river sharks, hucksters, street preachers, sheet ghosts, hobgoblins and rougaroux, and zombies, too, they will be out an about. Sane people stay home to work on their Mardi Gras costumes. Hallowe’en is one thing in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is another thing altogether bigger, brighter, and, absolutely morely magnificent.
I don’t see any Hallowe’en costume stores popping up in strip malls in New Orleans. I know a fair number of Mardi Gras costume stores, and Mardi Gras tailors, and Mardi Gras haberdashers that are open all year round. Feather dealers, bead shopkeepers, rhinestone wholesalers, sewing machine repair shops, weavers, felters, hatters, mask makers, papier mâché artists, they’re all busy all year ’round.
Some people do decorate their houses in the Hallowe’en spirit. Most of the people who live in our part of the city are more interested in observing All Saint’s Day rather than All Halloweds’ Evening. They are even more interested in following in the traditions that accompany All Soul’s Day. New Orleans is an old, old city that is densely woven and richly textured. The way national holidays are celebrated elsewhere have only tangential relation to how they are celebrated in New Orleans. New Orleans roots stay deep.
HALLOWE’EN IN NEW ORLEANS
If you are visiting New Orleans on Hallowe’en, visit the French Quarter. People travel here from all over the country to wear a costume on Hallowe’en night in New Orleans. October is a seductive month for visiting New Orleans. The weather is nice.
Hallowe’en in New Orleans is one thing. Hallowe’en in the rest of the world is another thing. One thing is true, though, there is nothing so nice as the good memories that are made in New Orleans every day and in every way. The best memories of all are made on Esplanade Avenue. The very bestest of those are made at La Belle Esplanade. Read the rest of our blog, and, check out this sister blog of ours!. For October, the New Orleans State of Mind Blog delved into some really fabulous New Orleans mysterious tales. Keep yourself in a New Orleans state of mind. When you are ready to visit this wonderful city we call home, you know where you should stay.
-À votre santé, mes amis!
Matthew King, D.H.
Proprietor of La Belle Esplanade, a small artisanal hotel in New Orleans that has been ranked the #1 place to stay in New Orleans since April 2014. You can visit New Orleans like a tourist or you can visit New Orleans like you belong. You belong here.
We look forward to meeting you and sharing our part of New Orleans with you. Get off the typical tourist radar and learn what it means to fall in love with the real New Orleans.