St. Joseph’s Day in New Orleans

Tiffny Harris


March 19th is the day where Catholics from all around New Orleans celebrate St. Joseph’s Day. It started in the late 1800’s when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans. The tradition honors the relief of St. Joseph, provided during a famine in Sicily. In recent years, not only Italians celebrate this symbolic day, visitors and New Orleans natives do as well.

In New Orleans culture we share food (cookies, cakes, and bread) to show appreciation for any kind of good luck in our lives, and St. Joseph’s day is no exception. The St. Joseph’s Day parade is held once a year by one of the largest ethnic groups in the southeast called the Italian-American Marching Club. It begins with food, wine and Italian music, followed by dancing and singing.

Local churches host altars such as St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square and St. Joseph Church on Tulane Ave.  So, if you come across a fresh green branch over a doorway, that means you’re invited to participate in this symbolic day!



What Next?

Recent Articles