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Haitians Commemorate Day Of The Dead With Voodoo

posted 1 Nov 2013, 17:40 by Mpelembe   [ updated 1 Nov 2013, 17:41 ]

Voodoo, bones and rum mark Haiti's Day of the Dead celebrations.

 PORT-AU-PRINCEHAITI (NOVEMBER 01, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Haitians congregated on Port-au-Prince's National Cemetery on Friday (November 01) to spend time with their deceased loved ones and remember them during Day of the Dead celebrations.

Cemetery visitors paid tribute to the dead by offering them their favourite food and remember their vices -- local rum and cane syrup -- to entice them to return home for a visit.

Voodoo believers at the Port-au-Prince Cemetery honoured the god of the dead Gede, also known as Baron Samdi or Baron Saturday. There, they prayed at the cross Baron for good health and fortune. Haitians also played music and laid their offerings before the tombstones.

Although celebrated across Latin America and the Caribbean, Haitians have given their Day of the Dead celebration a voodoo twist with voodoo practitioners heading ceremonies to honour their ancestors, complete with bones, rum and a black cross.

The ceremony has become an international drawcard for curious tourists as Haitilooks to rebuild its tourism industry.

"This is a very important day for the Haitian culture and the entire nation. We are the example for tourists who are in our country to see what we have to offer," said voodoo practitioner, Junior Joseph.

Voodoo came to Haiti with the slaves imported from Africa and has thrived, embedding itself into the everyday life of Haitians.