When is Traditional Day?
How long until Traditional Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 355 Days.|
Dates of Traditional Day
|Celebrates the nation's heritage of the West African religion of Vodoun|
Traditional Day is a public holiday in Benin, observed on 10th January.
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. 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 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.