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Catholic Activity: "Tupa-Tupa" (Knocking) for St. Joseph's Day

Part of the celebration of St. Joseph's Table or Altar is the Holy Family knocking door-to-door for food and shelter before finding the Table. Here is the tradition.


The custom of the Holy Family's search for food and shelter is an integral part of the St. Joseph's Altar celebration. Players are first selected to represent Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the angels. The ritual begins with St. Joseph knocking on three doors, looking for food and shelter for his family.

At each of the first two closed doors they try, someone inside asks, "Who is there?"

The response: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph."

"What do you want?"

"We seek food and shelter."

The response comes: "There is no room for you here."

When the Holy Family arrives at the third door, where the Altar is set, St. Joseph again knocks, and the dialog is repeated. But this time, when St. Joseph says, "We seek food and shelter," the joyful response is: "Welcome to this house. The table is set. The food is prepared. Come in and honor us with your presence."

After going inside, the Saints are treated to a meal that traditionally includes a taste of each item on the Altar. Each of the Saints is accompanied by a family member, who serves his food. The atmosphere during the meal is quiet and reverent, and visitors must wait until the Saints have eaten before viewing the Altar.

After the Saints have finished their meal, each guest is welcomed and served with love and warm hospitality in imitation of St. Joseph.

Activity Source: Viva San Giuseppe by St. Joseph Guild, St. Joseph Guild, 1200 Mirabeau Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

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