Saut d’Eau : Vodou’s Sacred Water Flows in Haiti

Rush photo by Vikram Vetrivel. Licensed under CC 2.0, photo cropped and text added.
Rush photo by Vikram Vetrivel. Licensed under CC 2.0, photo cropped and text added.

Born in fire and blessed in water the religion of Vodou is strong . Each year between July 14th and 16th thousands of Haitian practitioners of Vodou make the pilgrimage to the waterfalls called Saut D’eau, known in Kreyol as Sodo. July 16 is the Catholic feast day for the Virgin of Mount Carmel, who is often associated with the Vodou Lwa Erzulie, patron of love.

Legend has it that the waterfalls became sacred after the sighting of the Virgin Mary, who appeared on a palm tree there in the 1800’s. The tree is said to have been removed by a Catholic priest in a useless attempt to squash the beliefs. Ever since the site has been the destination of those seeking healing, blessing and renewal. Saut d’Eau is located north of Port Au Prince, and the powerful bathing rituals are a sight to behold.

 

The website No Comment TV features film of the ceremonies.

 

 

The yearly festivities have also caught the attention of the Miami Herald, whose video footage of the sacred bathing can be seen here:

 

 

 

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