Today is St. Joseph’s Day. Tomorrow is Super Sunday. As a friend of mine says, “That’s a lot of drumming.” I’ll add, “Going on.”
If you don’t live in New Orleans, I bet you never heard of St. Joseph’s Day. Even if you are Catholic, like I am. Well, sorta. Catholic. Not like I am. Or, even if you are Italian. Which I’m not. It’s certainly nowhere near as well-known as it’s two-day earlier predecessor, St. Patrick’s Day when everybody turns Irish, even if they’re not. I’m not. Think about that. With a name like Laskowitz, how could I possibly be?
Nobody seems to know why the African American community in New Orleans embraced an Italian-Catholic holiday like they have. I got all excited when an NPR story appeared a few days ago about just that subject. It’s been passed around on various social media by various members of the Mardi Gras Indian culture. Alas. The interviews didn’t help. The reporter talked to people who thought that it might have something to do with this, or that, or the other. You know. In 7th Ward-speak, or Brooklyn-speak like I talk. Dis, Dat and De Udder. The interviewees didn’t know. They were just guessing. So, nobody still doesn’t know nothin ‘.
It’s full blast this weekend for all things cultural. There are Italian American parades. There are visits to various Catholic churches to see the special altars and to collect a Fava bean. The Mardi Gras Indians come out tonight and roam around the streets. In Central City. In Treme. And, both the Upper and Lower 9th Wards. I have a pretty good idea where to look. But, because they just go wherever their hearts take them, finding them is always a good trick. Besides, it starts at dusk and lasts until about midnight. Light is very sporty. Of course, there is the show of shows, Super Sunday. In Central City, starting at A.L. Davis Park. I know I can find that. Heh!
That’s what this picture is about. Da Cultcha.