New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, September 25, 2023
Search this site.View the site map.

All Saints Day

All Saints Day
Mon Dec 16 2002 9:12:47 pm

My grandmother told us about how everything stopped on All Saints Day, except for the all day visit to the cemetary. Her family is in St. Louis #2 (I always get confused as to whether it's #2 or #3) on Esplanade near City Park. The grave dates back to the 1800s.

Mimi (my grandmother) talks of street venders hawking all sorts of flowers and goodies. White washing the tomb, placing fresh flowers on the tomb, visiting with friends, and packing a picnic lunch.

I brought a guy I was dating in college there with me in the 70s when my family was spending the day painting the tomb and sprucing it up. We brought beer and soft drinks and food. He was from Tallulah, La. He was shocked and amazed at our lack of dispair and the pleasure we were deriving from doing these chores for our departed loved ones.

Mimi later bought "perpetual care" for the tomb--which meant:
1. She wasn't sure if we'd keep the tradition
2. She couldn't bear the thought of our family tomb falling into disrepair.

Perpetual Care turned out not to be such a good thing. We stopped going to the tomb (except for burials) because we didn't have to. The tradition is gone. My mother still visits religiously a day or two before All Saints Day to make sure all is well and to bring fresh flowers. I'll have to make a point to start going with her.

I plan to be buried there, along with all those old Creoles(D'Alcontare, Poole, Hymel...). Isn't it wonderful that we can "re-cycle" our tombs and be buried with those we loved and those who came before us?