Haitians Head to Graveyards on Guede (Ghede)

Guede or Ghede, the alternate names for the God of the Dead, symbolizes the transition between life and death. The name also symbolizes the god of sorcery and tends to mix life with death, which makes him a shrewd trickster. 'Ghede' is mainly known as an undertaker. According to Voodoo beliefs, Gede is an important part of our lives because every one of us would eventually join our dead ancestors who always keep pace with us throughout our entire lives. Every year, gedes are feasted on November 2nd; Haitians make annual visit to the cemeteries throughout the country to pay tribute to the spirits and honor Gede.


The most Haitians prefer to congregate at the National Cemetery in Port-au-Prince's to remember and spend time with their beloved deceased ancestors. The faithful offer and coffee and fruit to their deceased loved ones and ask Baron Samedi (or Baron Semetye), the head of each cemetery, for health, jobs and luck. Baron Samedi rules over his cemetery with his wife, Maman Brijit. Every cemetery has its own Baron and Brijit who were buried as the first male and female corpses and they are identified by certain tombs which are usually the oldest in the graveyard. The voodoo priests and priestesses gather around the oldest grave, light candles and stoke small fires as they evoke the spirit Baron Samedi, typically represented with a dark top hat and a white skull face. Some spray wines on all over the tomb's cross or fill their mouths with fiery rum.

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