Traditional Day in Benin in 2025

Traditional Day in Benin in 2025
  How long until Traditional Day?
Traditional Day
  Dates of Traditional Day in Benin
2025 Benin Fri, Jan 10 National Holiday
2024 Benin Wed, Jan 10 National Holiday
2023 Benin Tue, Jan 10 National Holiday
2022 Benin Mon, Jan 10 National Holiday
2021 Benin Sun, Jan 10 National Holiday

Celebrates the nation's heritage of the West African religion of Vodoun

When is Traditional Day?

Traditional Day is a public holiday in Benin, observed on January 10th.

Also known as Traditional Religions Day or Voodoo Day, it is a day to celebrate the religion of Vodoun.

History of Traditional Day

Vodoun (also spelled Vodon, Vodun, Vodou, Voudou, Voodoo) is an ancient religion that originated in the West African kingdoms of Fon and Kongo. The Fon kingdom was located in what is now southern Benin and the coastal city of Ouidah in Benin is regarded as the birthplace of Vodoun and remains a focal point for celebrations on Traditional Day.

According to the Voodoo tradition, there is one supreme god, but followers can only communicate with god through spirits. They also emphasize ancestor worship and believe that the spirits of the dead live side by side with the world of the living.

During Vodoun ceremonies, followers can ask the spirits for advice or help; in return, the followers have to perform rituals including animal sacrifice.

Each year, on Traditional Day, thousands of followers from Benin and beyond will descend on the beach in Ouidah for the annual festival.

Attendees stay in tents with colourful flags representing different sects of the religion. Beginning with the slaughter of a goat in honour of the spirits, the festival is filled with prayers, libations, singing and dancing.

Vodoun is the source of the Voodoo religions practiced in Haiti and other parts of the Western hemisphere; its traditions travelled to the new world when many West Africans were displaced during the slave trade.

Vodoun was officially declared a religion in Benin in 1996. About 17% of the population of Benin, some 1.6 million people, follow Vodoun.

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