The 2017 voodoo Haitian pilgrimage at Saut d’ Eau, Haiti. (Photo credit: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
By NAN Travel Editor
News Americas, New York, NY, Fri. July 21, 2017: Women sat and stood unabashedly bare breasted as they gathered for the annual pilgrimage that drew hundreds of both sexes each year to a Caribbean waterfall.
The event in Saut d’ Eau, 68 km north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti is an annual tradition for voodoo believers as they all gather to the voodoo goddess of love, Erzulie Danto.
A mix of Voodoo and Christian faithful gathered in the rushing waters of Saut d’Eau, where they scrubbed their bodies with aromatic leaves and soap.
Some carried candles or calabash bowls with offerings. They pray for everything – from winning lottery numbers to a good harvest and an end to Haiti’s chronic political dysfunction.
Tens of thousands of Haitians have made the pilgrimage to bathe in the sacred waterfalls in a three-day festival at Saut d’Eau.
The faithful also converge on a nearby Catholic church to pray to the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, associated in the religion with the Voodoo goddess of Erzulie.
Voodoo evolved in the 17th century among African slaves and incorporates elements of the Roman Catholic faith that was forced upon them by French colonizers.