Every 10th of January is a national celebration day in Benin, honouring traditional religion and all cults associated with it. Ouidah in particular is where dozens of voodoo ceremonies are held, calling thousands of adepts, traditional chiefs and fetish priests.
In the past centuries, voodoo was born in the region between Abomey and Ouidah in Benin; these rituals are still practiced today and nearly 80% of the nation’s population professes this religion and Benin’s feticheurs are very powerful and very respected.
In particular, Ouidah’s feticheurs enjoy great reputation and the Temple of the Pythons, despite its small size, represents one of the most revered places and hosts a very powerful fetish.
Just from the temple of the Pythons, the celebrations of the Festival of the Voodoo: Dagbo Houno, Ouidah’s chief feticheur, after having gone to the temple and paying homage to the fetish, starts the procession carried along the slave road and reaches the beach where the festival is celebrated.
All the people are dressed up in traditional costumes, white being the dominant colour.
The annual festival takes place on the big beach on the Atlantic Ocean, where there is also the Door of No Return; right in this place ends the long procession of adepts.