Is there a connection between Halloween and Haitian Voodoo?

While Haitians do not exactly celebrate Halloween, they have their own version of the holiday. It is called the Haitian Voodoo, a tradition wherein tributes are paid to dead ancestors on November 1, which is referred to as Fete Gede. It is believed that voodoo god Baron Samedi, who is always depicted as a man donning a black coat, a bowler hat, and a pair of eyeglasses with only one lens, always appears on that day. His wife Gran Brigitte holds the highest authority over cemeteries in Haiti.

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To commemorate the tradition, Haitians troop to cemeteries to pay their respects to the dead every November 1. It is common for them to bring food, flowers, and rum with chili peppers at the cemeteries. The next day, Haitians will then honor the Catholic saints.

The first Halloween in New York after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was given full attention because of the number of people who died in the disaster. Master mask maker Didier Civil even flew to New York to help the producer of the Halloween Parade to push through with Haiti's Carnival. Understanding the Voodoo tradition, Civil produced figures of Baron and Brigitte, as well as zombie masks to reflect Haiti's beliefs. The Haiti's Carnival that year revolved around the theme of Haitian gods. It was completed with fabrications of tombs, graves, and paper mache flowers, which are big in Haiti.

Though Haitians separate Fete Gete from Halloween, they still acknowledge the days remembering the dead and honoring the gods and saints.

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