A prolific figure in what some would call Haitian mythology, Lwa Papa Ghede signifies both death, in his form as Baron Samedi, and eroticism in his general form. What he is, is the spirit through which one crosses into the afterlife. He is said to control its access and is, therefore, cloaked in black.
If one wishes to have communion with the dead, Ghede would be whom one would need to seek contact with as he is the keeper of the cemetery as well as the only source to the dead. This is not to be confused with Legba who must be contacted to cross into the spirit world. More exotically, Ghede is responsible for the world's eroticism. He is not titillated by it, nor ashamed of it, it is merely a part of existence to him. He is said to hold the more puritanical (especially whites) hostage to their sexual desires as a means of drawing them away from their modesty, a feat which greatly amuses him. He accomplishes this by "mounting" the unsuspecting.
November 2nd, is a special day in the Haitian culture. In Haiti as well as in the Diaspora, many Haitians use this time to celebrate Ghede with dances and Voodoo ceremonies.
In Voodoo mythology, Guédés represent the spirits of death and resurrection, symbolized by the Lwa "Baron". Whether you are celebrating Baron Samedi, Baron Cemetery or Baron Lacroix, I have selected the following videos for you to enjoy:
gede - Artist: Rara Fanm
The day of the dead might strike the ignorant as a macabre event, especially in Haiti where the November 1st and 2nd celebration is intricately linked with Vodou. But the practice, shared by other countries such as Mexico and Guatemala, with roots as far-reaching into history the Aztec civilization, though called by other names in different locales, is not so much a dark, pagan ritual as a joyous celebration of the life of lost ancestors.
Hundreds of practitioners of the Vodou and Christian persuasion flock cemeteries and light homemade candles, strew flowers, and offer food and alcohol to the spirits Ghede and Baron Samdi. And since Vodou's legalization in 2003, the ceremonies have become more accessible and certainly more attractive to tourists wanting to witness the cultural spectacle.
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