Monday 19 March 2018

Peruvians celebrate Day of the Dead

Musicians play folk music in the Nueva Esperanza cemetery during the Day of the Dead in Lima (AP)
Musicians play folk music in the Nueva Esperanza cemetery during the Day of the Dead in Lima (AP)

Peruvians celebrate The Day of the Dead in Lima at the tombs of their loved ones laid to rest at the Virgen de Lourdes cemetery.

It may seem more like a birthday party with musicians and dancers joining people at their relatives' tombs, but the holiday in fact honours friends and family who have died.

It's also traditionally the day when families will clean and repair crosses and tombs of their relatives and they often leave gifts.

CLIP woman - "We are remembering, not just remembering because we always have them present in our hearts, but we always come to see him here at the cemetery and to give him what he liked when he was alive, his music, his food, which is coming later and have him in our memory forever and to not forget."

In the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, people carried out voodoo rituals in celebration of the annual holiday.

The Day of the Dead is one of the most popular holidays in the voodoo tradition and thousands visit cemeteries in Haiti each year to honour their deceased relatives.

During the rituals, followers of the voodoo faith become possessed by the Guede or cemetery spirits.

My name is Brave Guede this man says. It's my birthday today. We come to celebrate on The Day of the Dead.

Two-thirds of Haiti's eight million population are believed to practice Voodoo, a blend of Christian tenets and African religions brought over by slaves.

However it wasn't until 2003 that the Haitian government officially sanctioned the faith as a religion, allowing voodoo priests to legally perform baptisms and marriages.

Press Association

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