I find it ironic that this time of the year brings up a very controversial issue among Christians concerning the “Holiday” (though there is nothing Holy about it) Halloween…and yet not far off the coast of Florida on an Island occupied by 10 million people a very similar holiday is being celebrated by followers of the voodoo religion.
In the U.S. there seems to be a big debate among Christians on whether or not celebrating Halloween is a moral issue. Some see no harm in it…others knowing the origin or having come from Wiccan backgrounds have a far different opinion. Readers will not have a hard time trying to figure out our views on the subject…but the point of this article is to share how this day looks like in Haiti.
November 1 and 2 are recognized holidays in Haiti known as “The Day of the Dead.” Children get the day off and many shops are closed in recognition of this day. Yesterday during the first day of the celebration…the Haitian pastor at CCH preached that as Children of the Light we shouldn’t engage in these practices. Even though this message comes across the pulpit many Haitians still have a foot in “Voodooism” while regularly attending church.
Almost all of today and yesterday there were drums being played in the distance and sometimes very near…like right next door. Nothing sounds unusual about the drums…but when you know it is for the purpose of some voodoo ritual then it gets kind of an eerie sound to it. Today, I was in town running some errands and a guy came up to me to show me of an event that was happening at the cemetery. I didn’t engage much in conversation, but I tucked that away in the back of my head. Later I looked up some common practices in Haiti on this day and found that Haitians will flock into the cemeteries and light candles to summon spirits. These may be family members that have died, known “mystics” (a kind of witchdoctor), or the Baron Samedi…the guardian of the dead. He is depicted in the photo below.
After Bible study tonight, I was talking with some of the girls about the darkness that goes on during this holiday…and one of them opened up to me and told me that her grandfather was an “Ougan” (voodoo priest). She told me of some of the practices that were performed on her when she was sick and shared more on some of the things she witnessed.
Departed spirits, and demons, and ghosts are all things that bring fear to the people of Haiti and cause such bondage. I was able to explain to the girls that the power of Satan is real…but he has no power over those who put their faith in Jesus. The devil tries to cause fear which is a direct attack on ones faith in God! Thank God we don’t have to fear him.
So why take part in a day that is surrounded around fear, death, witches, and darkness? Let’s be children of the Light.
Ephesians 5:8-11 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”