Day of The Dead- Fet Gede

Day of The Dead- Fet Gede

Wednesday, October 1st

For the past 37 years, La Source Ancienne Ounfo – A New Orleans based Vodou society – has celebrated the Day of the Dead/Fet Gede (“Geh-day”) with an annual Vodou ceremony to invoke the Gede. It is soothing and reassuring to know that our Dead are not gone, that we can come together in community to honor and visit with them. In return, our memory of the Dead keeps their spirits alive and present.
This year, on November 1st, 2017, the traditional celebration and remembrance will take place in the lobby of the New Orleans Healing Center. THE EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Photo by: Jeffrey Ehrenreich

Get Down With the Dead:

  • Parade of the Dead (More information coming soon)
  • Dead/Le Mo’/Ancestor Altars by various artists. Please bring photos of your Dead or remembrances for the main altar for the Dead (For more information on creating an altar click here)
  • Day of the Dead/Fet Gede market (For more info on vending click here)
  • Ceremony by Sallie Ann Glassman and initiated members of La Source Ancienne Ounfo and master drummers in the shadow of Ricardo Pustanio’s new Swamp Witch of Maurepas fountain sculpture. Monica Rose Kelly will create live art during the ceremony.
  • Please wear white with purple head scarves or purple and black – Gede’s colors – and bring an offering for the Gede or your Ancestors
  • Pot luck supper. EVERYONE PLEASE BRING A DISH!!
  • Procession to feed the Dead, say the praise names of the Beloved Dead, pass flame and say prayers from numerous traditions for the Dead.
  • Experience the New Orleans Healing Center and the many businesses and organizations that comprise it in a whole new light. Our lobby will be decked for the occasion.
  • In honoring the Dead, we embrace the meaning of our own lives and open space for generations yet to come.
  • Gede likes: rum, cigars, sunglasses with one lens, top hats, flat breads, skeletons, skulls, peppers, Day of the Dead figurines, crosses, coffins, coffin nails, goat cheese, goat stew, etc.


The Mexican Days of the Dead are the days at the end of October and the beginning of November, when the veil separating the Living and the Dead is at its most thin. This is when the Dead come back to visit the living. The children visit first, on Oct 31st, the familial adults on November 1st, and finally the unremembered Dead on November 3rd.  It is the time of year when summer has ended and Nature is moving towards death.  In Mexico, elaborate displays transform graves into altars and thousands of candles illuminate the path between worlds to give warmth to the returning Dead. Tables are set with food for the Dead and families picnic on top of graves all night.

The Days of the Dead coincide with “Fet Gede,” the festival for the Gede, a family of Haitian Vodou spirits, who are the patrons of the Dead.  The entire month of November is dedicated to his celebrations in Haiti, but he is especially honored with ceremonies during the first days of the month.  Death transforms from a manacing and fearful  reaper, to a “Comically grotesque” (Andy Antippas) equalizer. Abandon your posturing if you want to avoid being the brunt of his ridicule. Gede is a trickster, who stands at the crossroads between life and death. Cocky, and crude, and often embarrassing, he is patron of death, sex, and regeneration. However, he is also the patron of young children and a great healer, when there is a life or death situation.  His colors are purple, black and white and he characteristically wears a top hat and tails or grave-digger’s garb and sunglasses – often with only one lens  —  either because he sees between worlds or in reference to his “One-eyed snake!”


Help keep the ceremony free and open to the public. donate to Our fiscal sponsors, La source ancienne ounfo. all donations are tax exempt.


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