Voodoo believers bathe in a Haitian waterfall said to have healing powers and celebrate ancient Goddess of Love

August 5, 2017
By `

Thousands of Haitians every year flock to the ancient city of Saut d’Eau to bathe in its waterfalls and pay pilgrimage to a Voodoo Goddess of Love.

The Saut d’Eau waterfalls, which are located just 68km north of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, are believed to have healing powers, which hold significance for both Catholic and Voodoo practitioners.

It is thought that the Virgin Mary appeared on a palm tree in the area in the 19th century – the Virgin Mary is often associated with the Voudou spirit Erzulie Dantor.

The festival, officially called Our Lady of Carmel, runs annually from July 14 to July 16.

A man bathes under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians  paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

A man bathes under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

A man bathes under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

A man bathes under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

A group of people bathe under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

A group of people bathe under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

The falls have become an important religious destination and right of passage for Haitians.

People gather under the 100-foot waterfall and scrub their bodies with aromatic leaves and soap.

After bathing, participants are said to throw out the clothes that they were wearing for good luck – putting on new ones.

People bathe under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

People bathe under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

People bathe under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

People bathe under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

People bathe under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

People bathe under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

Spiritual and religious rituals like these now perhaps retain more significance as Haiti continues to feel the effects from its 2010 earthquake, which killed hundreds of thousands of people and left the small island nation’s economy in disarray.

Approximately 50,000 Haitians left for the United States following the earthquake, claiming a temporary protected status, which they now look to lose under the Trump Administration.

People bathe under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

People bathe under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

People bathe under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

People bathe under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

People bathe under the Saut d'Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

+9

People bathe under the Saut d’Eau waterfall in the annual Our Lady of Camel festival in Haiti, pictured. The ancient festival sees thousands of Haitians paying pilgrimage, bathing in the waters that are said to have healing powers in both Catholic and Voodoo traditions

Comments are closed.