Arts & Culture

The Haitian Voodoo festival that celebrates the revolutionary war and Africa

Every year, pilgrims from all over Haiti travel for the festival known as the 
Plaine du Nord Festival. Among the locals who speak Haitian Kreyol, the festival is known as the Plen Dino Festival and usually takes place in July.

Plain du Nord or Plen Dino is not just the name of a festival, it is the name of the settlement on the northern border of the country that lies between the Massif de Nord mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. The small town has a population of close to 40,000 people who are widely known to be a Creole and Maroon community that has managed to preserve a great part of their African culture.

The festival’s name does not only stem from the fact that it originates within the Plain Du Nord but also because it is the location where the slave revolt and war that led Haiti to gain its independence began. It is believed that both the free maroons and enslaved Africans gained power from the spirits they worshipped who led them to start the war and gain their independence.

The festival is also a celebration and worship of the god Ogou, who in Nigeria and parts of Benin is worshipped and acknowledged as the warrior god of metal.

During the 2-day festival, the pilgrims who come from near and far including Creoles from other Caribbean countries come together to march up to the St. Jacques’ hole, a sacred mud pool where several will have spiritual baths and rebirth similar to baptism.

The pilgrims are expected to come with sacrifices to the gods while the high priestess and other priests march up with bullocks which will also be sacrificed. Sacrifices are made using chickens, goats, cows and sheep which would be slaughtered.

While several pilgrims wear dark colours, preferably black or red, some of the priestess and priest who come with their congregation wear similar attires with colours relating to whatever their mission is.

Each person who comes to seek a spiritual bath is assisted by a priest who prays with them and baths them in the mud pool. During the ritual, the priest or priestess uses herbs and scented incense as well. Children are often brought for the bath and held upside down.

After the spiritual bath, sacrifices are then made to the gods near the cross in the mud hole. It is expected that the High priestess does the first killing of her bullock before other smaller priests and priestesses follow suit sacrificing the many animals that their people bring. The blood is used to cancel any sins, please the gods and serve as an investment into a fertile year. Usually, the blood is poured on the giver who is then expected to pray and give praise for a successful sacrifice.

At night, a ritual candlelit dance and singing routine is held. The significance of the ceremony is to be in the presence and company of the gods and ancestors. During this ceremony, several people go into a trance doing and saying things they cannot remember. Continue reading

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
May. 02, 2019

6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The Haitian Voodoo festival that celebrates the revolutionary war and Africa”

  1. Arlene says:

    1- Exodus 20:3 you shall have no other gods before me.
    2- If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, seek my face, pray & turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven & heal their land, 2 chronicles 7:14
    Deliver Haiti Jezi????????????????????

  2. Amanda Grant says:

    I believe that the people of Haiti need to unite and put away Christianity for good. Stop accepting and listening to the lies of the oppressors. The people were the first to break the chains of slavery and are now suffering because of it. They are an outcast to the world because they stood up for their freedom. I pray for them daily as well as my brothers and sisters all over the world.

  3. Peter says:

    As a Christian , I am proud that my people have succeeded in preserving our African heritage. Nowhere else in the Caribbean can you find such authentic culture . As a Christian, I am concerned about the division being spread by the so called evangelists, the same people who has been oppressing Haitians.
    While I don’t practice vodou, I love it’s beauty and I respect its power. Kinbe culture! Kinbe lwa ou, kinbe vodou!

  4. Ti henry christophe says:

    I am very shock of how dumb and ignorant people of the human race can be.
    Those who wish to worship voodo gods should go back to Africa where they came from and enjoy the power of their gods there. Ignorance and cowards go hand in hand. Those who accept any form of religion of associated religion that indulges and practices destruction , evilness, or any capacities to maine or destroy the lives of other innocent beings, practices negative behaviors ate themselves enslavers of their people, although it may not ve physical slavery as much, ut is definitely spiritual and corporal slavery. These cowards rather practice evil rather than do good, cause they are just another number in crowds of mass cowards.

  5. MRS PAT says:

    I’m from USA, I want to share my testimony to you all i just got married to my husband about 2 years ago we started having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed, fighting about little things he always comes home late at night, drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side have never love any man in my life except him.he is the father of my children and I don’t want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today.few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid, being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so I have nobody to turn to and I was heart broken called my mom and explain every thing to her, my mother told me about a voodoo lord, how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad I was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other was directed to him and explain everything to him, so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where before and be in so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband.he told me that my problem will be solved within two days. So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him Am so happy now. the reason why I decided to share my experience with every body is that if you have such a problem contact him now is ready to solve it for you immediately without wasting time email via [email protected]

  6. jay says:

    before there was christianity islam judah and others africans us blacks was dealing in nature, science, then we dum down our selves with this jesus myth and other religion brainwash bull, black people need to be free thinkers, or others will control how they think, THOU SHALL NOT JUDGE,THOU SHALL LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, i dont pratice vodou but i love nature, and science, and if vodou is not for you, stop worrying about it, and focus what you believe in, NOT WHAT OTHERS FOLLOW

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