The voodoo culture is a culture practiced in Ouidah a small town and former slave port in the west African country Benin republic. The annual voodoo festival gathers visitors from far and wide
The festival brings together the estimated 60 million people who lost their homelands and their freedom during the African slave trade.
Benin , which is formerly known as Dohamey its situated between Nigeria and Togo
According to the voodoo tradition, there is a supreme god regardless of which name people use, the primary god is immensely powerful and beyond the reach of human.
For this reason, Voodoo practitioners must rely on hundreds or thousands of other spirits to communicate with the god. These spirits are known as loa and Iwa.
During ceremonies and observances, followers of Voodoo ask the spirits for advice, protection or assistance. It is also said that the voodoo spirit could predict the future , part of the Voodoo belief is that loa communicate with followers through possession, it takes the human body to communicate with his followers.
The idea of the loa possessing human body is to give instructions ,advice and rebuke .
For millions of Beninese, voodoo is a skullduggery-free part of everyday life. It does have a dark side , it’s hard to miss the voodoo dolls riddled with nails but this is only one aspect of it. Ouidah’s Voodoo Festival, Benin’s most vibrant and colourful festival, is a showcase of its other qualities.
The celebrations begin when the supreme voodoo priest slaughters a goat to honour the spirits, and are marked by much singing, chanting, dancing, beating of drums and drinking of gin. The beach also briefly becomes a racehorse track.
Thundering drums. Whirling, bare-breasted women. Necklaced men slashing their bodies with knives and pouring alcohol over the wounds to welcome very important personnel at the occasion.
The followers goes to the Python temple to worship with different animals like goat ,chickens and ram to appease the pathon spirit. They as well go to the kpese sacred forest where it was said that king kpese fled from enemies and turned into an iroko tree to worship the iroko tree .
The Egungun is a very important part of the occasion , it dances around with the sound of sweet drums. It is believed that The ‘Egungun’ are possessed by spirits of dead ancestors placed upon earth to guide the living and must be treated with respect. The idea of the ‘spirit’ appears in many guises.
The festival ends with the Priests shower blessings on followers sipping ‘libations’ (firewater offerings to the gods).
Many ritual tend to get most things they need for ritual in Ouidah market where we can human skull , dog head and poison .etc however there are so many dark side to the festival which is left untold.