Voodoo festival Epe Ekpe in Glidji
Every year in the village of Glidji, 30 miles from Togo’s capital city of Lome, members of the Guen tribe gather together for the Epe Ekpe festival — part family reunion, part New Year’s Eve, part religious worship.
The highlight of the festival is the sacred stone, sought by a priest within a sacred walled-in forest. The stone’s color portends the fortunes of the coming year.
The blue stone announcing a year of rain and abundant harvests , if red will be a year of war meanwhile the black stone presages of famine, disease and devastating rain, finally the white stone indicating that the year will be blessed with lucky and abundance !!!
A general Jubilation, with the collective trance, accompanies the stone while it is shown to thousands of peoples come for the festival.
The festival continuing for a week in the villages surrounding Glidji.
Voodoo, a traditional religion on the Gulf of Guinea Coast, around Aneho
All along the coast of Benin and Togo, Voodoo, an animist religion, gathers a lot of followers together. Passed down by the ancestors, it is still practiced with fervor today. The religious experience is much richer and more complex than westerners can imagine. These voodoo practices are not a form of black magic. To millions both here and abroad Voodoo represents a religion that gives meaning and order to their lives. In a village we join in a Voodoo ceremony: The frenetic rhythm of the drums and the chants of the followers help to invoke the voodoo spirit who takes possession of some of the dancers
who fall into a deep state of trance. Traditional healers treat illnesses with local herbs and also by offering sacrifices to the numerous fetish altars that fill their courtyard. The God “Fa” is an esoteric divinity consulted by people to solve their everyday big or small life issues. A fetish priest interprets the answers to the listening adept.
Tours with this festival:
Fire dance, traditional Festival of the Tem in Central Togo
In the heart of the village, a great fire lights up the faces of the dancers who start moving on the frenetic rhythm of the tam-tams. The fire- dancers in a state of trance throw themselves into the embers, grab them with their hands and put them in their mouths; they even run them over their bodies without keeping any trace of injury or showing any sign of pain. Is it a matter of courage? Self-suggestion? Magic? Such a performance is hard to explain. Maybe it really is the fetishes that protect them from fire.