OUIDAH, Benin, Jan. 10 (UPI) — The African country of Benin celebrated National Voodoo Day Tuesday with rites that included dancing, drumming and animal sacrifice.
The festival took place at “the point of no return,” a beach where slaves were loaded on ships for the voyage across the Atlantic, the BBC reported.
About 65 percent of Benin’s population practices Voodoo, a belief that natural forces and materials have spiritual force as well. National Voodoo Day has been a holiday in the country for 10 years.
“People have a negative image of voodoo because of some of the bad practices, a sort of witchcraft, where you can put a bad spell on someone when you are jealous of that person,” said Martine de Sousa, a former curator of the National Voodoo Museum. “That is totally different from voodoo.”