March 28, 2016
See How Haitians Sacrifice Goats, Smear Themselves In Blood And Dance Into A Trance To Celebrate Easter
Haitian voodoo followers gathered together to celebrate yearly ceremony that usually saw them engage in various bizarre routines.
Hundreds of Haitian Voodoo followers gathered for the annual religious ceremony in Souvenance a suburb of Gonaives, north of Port-au-Prince, on Easter Sunday.
Believers had made the annual pilgrimage to their holy temple, Souvenance Mystique, where they expressed their devotion to the spirits – loas – by taking part in a number of rituals.
Each year, followers dress in all-white, sacrifice animals, bathe in a sacred pool and dance themselves into a trance as they celebrate one of the holiest days in the Voodoo calendar.
Men and women could be seen dancing outside the temple, having stained their white clothes with the blood from goats that had been sacrificed.
Some held wooden or real machetes, while others danced until they entered a trance state, and a number of worshippers took the opportunity to swim in a nearby pool which is believed to be sacred.
Voodoo was brought to Haiti by slaves from West Africa, but did not become a recognised religion by the Caribbean country until the 1960s.
Many Voodoo rituals and holy celebrations coincide with events in the Catholic Christian faith as this was the religion of the French Haitian slavemasters.
Slaves were forbidden from practising their Voodoo faith, so by celebrating the same days as their Catholic masters, they were able to conceal their religion.