Join the local believers and international visitors who flock to Benin around 10 January every year to slaughter chickens, make voodoo sacrifices and celebrate this religion that has been hyped and exaggerated by Hollywood movies. These practises were illegal until Benin lifted the ban on Voodoo practices and it was declared an official religion in the early 1990s.
National Voodoo Day is seen as an important public holiday and is viewed in the same manner as Christmas and the Muslim Eid as it is a religious day. The believers gather to watch Voodoo priests sacrifice chickens by tearing out the birds' throats with their teeth and drinking their blood. They are not chicken to make sacrifices, but this has caused controversy. Although this act is thousands of years old, health authorities have warned that these acts create a major risk of contamination. Voodoo believers are convinced that their faith shields them from infection during ceremonies in which sacrificed chickens' blood is sprayed over the crowd and the ground. If you wish to watch these ceremonies, it is best to stay at a safe distance and be a witness to the Voodoo rituals that only occurs in this part of the world on one day of the year.
Book early flights and accommodation to watch many people from all over Africa celebrate their belief that is completely different to other Western religions. You do not have to be a believer to see the unique aspect of Voodoo and the area may even put a positive spell on you to return to Benin. If you really want to be safe, visit Ouidah and see the Voodoo Museum called Museé d'Histoire de Ouidah instead of experiencing it first hand!