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“Reveillon” Dinners a popular tradition in New Orleans

11 December 2007

During the mid-1800’s, New Orleans’ Creole families celebrated the “Reveillon” (French for “awakening”) twice during the holidays.  The first Reveillon came after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, when families returned from St. Louis Cathedral to break a daylong fast with an elaborate meal.  New Year’s Eve brought another Reveillon, usually shared among several families.  This more festive meal featured eggnog, fancy pastries, meringues, sugar sculptures, and crystallized fruits.

Today’s Reveillon is celebrated nightly during the Christmas season in restaurants throughout the city.  Menus combine ageless Creole cuisine with more contemporary New Orleans dishes, but the spirit of the past remains.  In fact, three participating Reveillon restaurants — Commander’s Palace, Galatoire’s, and Tujague’s — are more than 100 years old! 

So revel in nostalgia.  Come to New Orleans between now and Christmas 2007 and enjoy Reveillon — the authentic taste of Christmas New Orleans Style. For a complete list of the restaurants that feature a Reveillon dinner, go to French Quarter Festivals for all the details.

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