Also, Happy St. Joesph's Day!!

Yes, March 19th is St. Joseph's Day.  Never heard of it?  Well, if you're from Nola, shame on you!  If you're from anywhere else though, I'm not surprised.  While St. Joseph is a pretty well known saint (being Jesus' earthly dad and all), his feast day is only recognized as a major holiday in a few spots in western Europe... and, you guessed it, here in New Orleans!

The St. Joseph's Altar at St. Joseph's Church on Tulane, 2012
All over the city on St. Joseph's Day, Catholic churches and other community centers build altars to St. Joseph.  Some oldschoolers even build altars in their homes.  And it's a different kind of altar than you've ever seen before - it is covered in food as a tribute to the saint, who is credited with bringing Sicily through famine.  Breads and cookies feature prominently, and visitors are encouraged both to make a donation and to take a lucky fava bean.  After a long day of people visiting altars, making donations, and picking up lucky beans, a celebratory mass is held and the food from the altars is shared and/or donated.

You don't have to be Catholic to enjoy this very New Orleanian celebration - everyone is invited and welcome to join in the experience.  Maybe next year you'll build your own (vegan) altar?

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