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Hundreds of Voodoo Practitioners in Haiti Celebrate Fèt Gede- Festival of the Dead

Hundreds of people attended the Day of the Dead festival in Port-au-Prince’s largest cemetery.

In Haiti, the celebration is called as Fet Gede. Vodou practitioners wear white and paint their faces to depict the “spirits” — known as gede — “the dead.”

Many in the crowd gathered around the tomb of the first person buried at the Port-au-Prince cemetery, thinking it houses the guardian of the dead, known as Baron Samedi in Haitian Vodou.

Revelers donated candles and money to a Vodou priest as he spit moonshine over practitioners’ faces, some of whom shook and stumbled as they absorbed the spirit of the dead.

The moonshine is known as cleren, rum laced with hot peppers marinating inside.

Wooden bowls with plantains, fish, bread, avocados and anything decorated with human skulls are offered to dead relatives or friends.

The celebrations come at a time of increased violence and misery in Haiti.

According to the United Nations, more than 1,230 deaths and 701 kidnappings were reported in Haiti from July 1 to September 30, more than doubling the number reported during the same time last year.

In Haiti, there are an estimated 200 gangs, with the larger factions dominating up to 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Vodou is an official and widely practiced religion in Haiti, which has a population of more than 11 million people. It originated in the 16th century when slaves from West Africa forced to follow Catholicism blended saints with spirits from African traditions.

Written by PH

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