I was born in New Orleans and raised with a Catholic upbringing. I have known my lifelong friend, Tim Barrios, since I was 5. We attended Catholic grade school, Catholic high school, and college together. Recently he and his wife sent me a book The Joy of Y'at Catholicism by Earl J. Higgins. I gave this a read and thought I would share some interesting tid bits.
"Where y'at?" is a common salutation in New Orleans that means "How are you?" instead of "Where are you?"
The city of New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne who is more commonly known by his title of Sieur de Bienville. Based on misinformation from Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, many people mistakenly believe that Louisiana is broken into parishes instead of counties due to the Napoleonic code. The truth is that when Louisiana became a state, the church parish boundaries were already established so the government just used them instead of redrawing new boundaries.
Lent is a 40 day period of personal sacrifice before Easter. Catholics refrain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent. Mardi Gras, French for "Fat Tuesday," marks the last chance to celebrate before Lent. The word carnival comes from Latin for "goodbye to meat." There is debate as to whether turtle is considered meat (not allowed) or seafood (allowed).
King cakes are sold between January 6 and Mardi Gras. New Orleans tradition dictates that king cakes are consumed at king cake parties. Each king cake contains a plastic baby (represents baby Jesus) that is hidden in the cake. The person who randomly receives the slice with the baby has the honor of hosting the next king cake party.
- Revelation is the final book of the New Testament of the Bible. According to Revelation, exactly 144,000 (no more, no less) will ascend to heaven as part of final judgement. That's why the famous New Orleans song "When the Saints Go Marching In" contains the line "I want to be in that number."
Reading this book was like a walk down memory lane in New Orleans.