It’s another one of those unique and wonderful New Orleans (and Louisiana) traditions that you only learn about if you’re here: Christmas bonfires.
They’re called Feux de Joie, Fires of Joy, and they line the Mississippi from Baton Rouge to New Orleans to help Papa Noel find his way as he comes down the rive on a paddle boat.
How old is the tradition? It’s thought to have been started by the Acadians (Cajuns) in 1750. On the other hand, the Irish have an multi-thousand year of celebratory bonfires (bone fires) that may have been added to the mix.
Wood crates and and anything else that will burn are stacked in huge pyramids sometimes reaching as high as 30 to 40 feet.