AfriGeneas Creole Research Forum
Bastille Day - A Creole Custom
Throughout the ninetenth and early twentieth centuries, the Creoles of Louisiana, both white and black, celebrated Bastille Day, the Fete Nationale of France. The day was marked with the singing of the Marseillaise, grand balls, extravagant repasts, and of couse the finest wines.
In this year, celebrating the spirit of the Sainte-Domingue refugees, honoring the 120th. anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, and mindful of that phrase "Oui on peut!" (Yes, We Can!), let us make a concerted effort to celebrate Bastille Day. You all certainly know I mean when I say "we" must make our presence known.
The annual Mass in French will be celebrated on Sunday, July 12th., at 11:00 a.m. in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France. Following the Mass there will be un dejeuner (luncheon) at Arnaud's, 813 rue Bienville (cost $65).
The annual Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place on July 14th. at 10:00 a.m. at the golden statue of Sainte Jeanne d'Arc in front of the French Market. The French Consul General will give a brief address, as will Ken Ferdinand, head of the French Market Corporation. The Marseillaise and Star-Spangled Banner will be sung followed by a light wine and dessert gathering in the Market Cafe, which is directly behind the statue. The attendees always enjoy the cafe's excellent jazz band.
I hope to see as many Creoles of color as possible join us for the Mass celebrated in the Cathedral dedicated to the patron of our State and at the Wreath Laying followed by the syncopated concoction of French and African rythyms. Vive les Creoles!