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Cajun Zydeco Festival
Cajun Zydeco Festival
Cajun Zydeco Festival

The Many Cultures of New Orleans

We claim a rich melting pot of diverse history and traditions

French, Spanish, Congolese, Haitian, Native American, Creole, Latino, Sicilian, Anglo-Americans and a half dozen more nations and peoples converged on the high ground of the Mississippi to forge a new identity – one unique in all the world. You can call New Orleans “poly-cultural,” but we call it “magic” and it’s an experience not to be missed. 

  • African American culture has made New Orleans the authentic city it is today: Mardi Gras Indians, the Krewe of Zulu, Second Lines, the birth of Jazz, Voodoo, Congo Square and more!
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  • Cajun influence is seen throughout Louisiana: the famous seasonings of Chef Paul Prudhomme, crawfish boils, Cajun and Zydeco music at the Fais Do Do stage at Jazz Fest and more!
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  • Creoles popularized the dice game craps, brought the Creole cottages and shotgun houses of the Marigny, and built the creole cuisine of restaurants on Frenchmen Street.
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  • French culture has always influenced New Orleans traditions; the French Catholics brought Mardi Gras, Catholic schools and jazz funerals. Learn about other French influence, here!
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  • German bakeries still thrive in New Orleans with Mardi Gras king cakes from Haydel's and French bread from Leidenheimer’s, and we celebrate German heritage at Oktoberfest!
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  • Irish settlers contributed to present-day New Orleans: St. Patrick’s Church, Gallier House New Orleans, Irish pubs on Magazine Street, Hibernia Bank and more!
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  • New Orleans has embraced Italians since before the Civil War. We still celebrate Sicilian St. Joseph's Day, love a good Muffaletta & call the lower French Quarter "Little Palermo."
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  • The Jewish community has provided Mardi Gras krewes, Touro Hospital, Delgado Community College, Isidore Newman School, Rubenstein’s, Hurwitz-Mintz, the JCC and more to New Orleans!
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  • Hispanic influence remains strong in New Orleans. From “Mardi Gras Mambo” to the Cabildo in Jackson Square, Latin roots live on in this port city. Discover the Latin community!
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  • The New Orleans French Quarter may be French in name, but Spain left behind the architecture. Spanish control of Louisiana in the 1700s has influenced street names to cuisine.
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  • After the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese settled in New Orleans, bringing Vietnamese food, culture, language and more with them. Learn more Vietnamese history in New Orleans, here!
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