Saturday, November 5, 2011

All Saints Day

     In New Orleans it is tradition to go and care for the family tomb on All Saints Day.  Here you are buried above ground in a tomb.  Tombs are owned by families and are used and reused for as long as you want to use them.  I won't go into the gory details about what is done to accommodate a new coffin, but the rules are simple:  1. Wooden caskets only.  2.  The next guy has to wait a year and a day before he/she can be buried.

Yeah, we put Mardi Gras Beads on the tomb,
and when the Saints won the Superbowl we decorated it with black and gold.

Here we are all cleaned up!  The panel on the right is funky beige because of Katrina,
but the rest of the tomb cleaned up fine; weird.
I know it looks like we put this one kid to work,
but I promise we all did our part.

This tomb is where my Great Grandma, Great Aunt, Great Uncle and Uncle are buried.
This one was built in 1881.  When they run out of room on the front for names,
they move the panel to the side and put a new one on the front as you can see here.  
     Anyways, on All Saints Day you place flowers on the tombs and clean them up a bit.  It's also a bit like playing at Keeping Up With The Jones'; you don't want your tomb to be the one looking sad without flowers or peeling paint.  This year there weren't so many flowers out there, but I attribute that to All Saints Day being on a weekday.  We brought along some extras and placed them on our neighbors, which made us feel good.   (Names have been blurred on purpose.)


  1. I find this fascinating. I have heard of but did not know anything about All Saints Day.
    As a genealogist and historian I have trekked cemeteries all across Canada. They are amazing places history wise.
    Not to be gory but more out of curiosity, I am curious how more than one coffin can be accommodated? Are people embalmed? Do people ever get cremated? Does a tomb ever get full? Please tell me more.

  2. PS- I love Brussels sprouts. I hope we can still be friends. :-)

  3. Hello Birdie, we love cemeteries too, brussels sprouts not so much, but we can still be friends. ; ) Wow there are a lot of questions here so I tell you what, I'll do a post on the subject on burials in NOLA to try and answer your questions.