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An American Vodou House

Sosyete du Marche, Inc’s Library

The Holidays in Vodou: Holy Days of Obligation

As Vodou is a syncretized religion, many of its major holidays are  honored by following the Christian calendar of holy day observances. But there are also regional celebrations, city wide services and individual houmforts that follow their own calendar of services and family  obligations. One could say every day is a holiday in Haiti. Below you  will find a general calendar of Vodou holidays. Again, each peristyle is it's own little universe, so there is lots of room for diversity and  difference. Choose one, celebrate with your family and join the greater  community of the Spirits who travel with us all. Ayibobo!

Note: The SDM Calendar shows all major Lwa feast days

January 2, 3,4 - Breaking the cakes (case gateaux), a communal form of Mange Lwa
reference: See Mama Lola by Karen McCarthy Brown

January 6 - Les Rois (the kings) Also called Kings Day.  Simbi Dlo, Simbi Andezo and Simbi Anpaka are celebrated on this date in  Northern Haiti

February 25 - Ritual feeding of the Springs (manger tetes d'l'eau). Celebrated in the Artibonite

March 16 -Loko Davi, eating of the ritual wood and of its guard

March 19 - Loko Attisou, as syncretized with Saint Joseph; celebrated in New Orleans

March 20 - Legba Zaou (eating consists mainly of a black goat)

April - Danbala Wedo; celebrations for this holiday coincide with Easter week. The largest celebration is held in Souvenance for a solid week, with huge dances, ritual feedings of the river and mapou  trees, as well as many processions, ceremonies and services.

April 29 - Breaking the jugs (casse canarie), deliverance of the souls from purgatory

April 31 - Feeding the dead (mange-les-morts)

May 18 - Feeding of Grande Aloumandia

May 20, 21 - Sim'bi blanc

May 30 - Sung masses (chante-messes) in the Roman-Catholic church

June 24 - Saint John the Baptist, also called St. John's Eve
Celebrated in New Orleans every year by Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman at St. John's Bayou

June 28 - M'sieu Guimeh Sauveur; Mystere Grande Delai;  common table served for Maitresse Erzulie, Maitress Tenaise andĀ   Maitresse Mam'bo

July 14 - Celebration at Saut d’Eau in Ville Bonheur. Bathing in the falls of Dambala

July 25 - Papa Ogou or St. James the Greater
Celebrated at Plaine Nord with with mud baths and offerings of bulls and goats.

July 26 - Common table for Grande Saint Anne,
also known as Mystere Grande Delai and Grande Aloumandia

July 29 - Maitresse Silverine (who only very slightly  tastes of the food offered to her) and Maetresse Lorvana (who smellsĀ   flowers for her nourishment)

August 24 - Kongo celebrations in Soukri for Kongo nachon.

August 29 - L'Orient, one of the most important mysteres

August 30, 31 - Agwe (offerings of goats, peppers and peppermints) see Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen

September 25 - Roi Wangol and Mousondi

September 29 - Manman Aloumandia

September 30 - Maetresse Delai

October 30, 31 - Masses sung in the Roman-Catholic church; communion table of 40 scarves of different colors, exposed to the  peristyle and "served"

November 1, 2 - Fet Gede -The Guede lwa possess their horses and come into the hounforts to amuse themselves.

November 25th - Mange Yam (Eating the yams) See Mama Lola by Karen McCarthy Brown

December 10 - Ganga-Bois

December 12,13, 14 - Feeding the sea (Agoueh Royo)

December 25 - Bath of Christmas; Celebrated by many house in Haiti and the Diaspora.
See Riguad, Metreux, Planson and Maximillien.



Copyright 1995 - 2016.  Sosyete du Marche, Inc. is a Federally recognized 501c3 church, operating in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Your donations are tax deductible, and go towards supporting Sosyete du Marche, its mission to provide a safe haven for all worshippers, and to help those who need it most. To date, we have led medical missions to the Caribbean, supported Native Americans after Katrina and currently support our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.