I grew up in Missouri so moving to Louisiana pretty soon after graduation was a major culture shock for me. But my husband grew up in Lafitte for pretty much his whole life so this was just his normal. However, it didn’t take long at all for me to fall in love with the area. There is just something about a small town where everyone knows each other. The little celebrations and traditions, when everyone gets together, it’s all just so fun! A boat blessing was a new one for me, though.
Blessing of the Fleet
In Lafitte, there are a good bit of trawlers, fishermen, crabbers, and fishing charter captains. Each year, they host a “boat blessing” for all of the boats to drive through and get blessed by a priest. It used to be a day for anyone who was using their boats and gifts as a means of making a living for themselves and their families. But like anything in or around New Orleans, it became a day to party!
People decorate their boats, host parties complete with crawfish and snowballs, and spend the entire day together. Out in the lake and in the bayou channels, there are boats as far as your eye can see. It will never not blow my mind that it’s one day that everyone comes together to celebrate and accept the blessing the priest offers. It is incredibly neat to see so many people – young, old, families, you name it – out there enjoying themselves. The day before and the morning of, you can feel, and even hear, the excitement in the air.
And sometimes, your boat breaks down at the most inconvenient time and place. Like in the middle of boat blessing. But like they say … when life gives you lemons, you throw the umbrella up and chill while a lifesaving friend pulls you back to safety.
I wouldn’t change living in Lafitte for the world! If you ever get the chance to experience a boat blessing, I encourage you to do so!