Day of The Dead- Fet Gede

Day of The Dead- Fet Gede

Get Down with the Dead 

Thursday, November 1st | New Orleans Healing Center 

 

 

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HISTORY

 

In its 38th year, La Source Ancienne Ounfo , a New Orleans based Vodou society,  in partnership with the New Orleans Healing Center, will celebrate the Day of the Dead/Fet Gede with a 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.

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 most diffuse. The Dead come back to visit the living –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 wintery death.  In Mexico, elaborate displays transform graves into altars and thousands of candles illuminate the path between worlds and give warmth to the returning Dead. Tables are set up 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 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”.

The traditional celebration and remembrance keeping will take place in the lobby of the New Orleans Healing Center.  The event is free and open to the public.

 

SCHEDULE

 

All night

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.

Dead/Le Mo’/Ancestor Altars by various interfaith artists, including Alexei Kazantsev, Marcela Singleton, Ricardo Pustanio, Darlene Marcello, Kelly Cutrone, Marge Smith, Britney Penouilh, Andrew Wiseman, Sen Elias, Beverly Wallas Sellers, Sallie Ann Glassman, Greta Gladney, Jan Crofford and many others.

Please bring photos of your Dead or remembrances for the main altar for the Dead.

5:30-7:00pm

 Happy Hour at Seed Restaurant

7:00-10:00pm

Ceremony by Sallie Ann Glassman and initiated members of La Source Ancienne Ounfo and master drummers in the shadow of Ricardo Pustanio’s new fountain sculpture.

Please wear white with purple head scarves or purple and black – Gede’s colors – and bring an offering for the Gede or your Ancestors

10:00–10:45pm

 Pot luck supper

Everyone please bring a dish.

10:45 – 11:15pm

Procession to feed the Dead

 say the praise names of the Beloved Dead, pass flame and say prayers from numerous traditions for the Dead.

Why: Standing behind each of us is a long line of Ancestors who continue to love and guide us.  In honoring the Dead, we embrace the meaning of our own lives and open space for generations yet to come.

*Please feel free to bringing offerings. 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.*

 

ALTARS 

Sallie Ann Glassman – Candle Altar 

Altars Stand At The Axis Of The Crossroads Between The Visible And Invisible Realms. A Bowl Of Fresh Water Is Available For Cleansing Of Your Aura Before You Approach The Altar. Another Bowl Of Water Is On The Altar, Where You Can Dip Your Fingers And Connect With Your Loved Ones Within The Waters Of Return. As You Light Your Candles On The Altar, The Veil Between The Living And The Dead Parts. Your Candle Flame Lights The Way For The Beloved Dead To See You. Thank You For Your Donations For A Votive ($5) Or A Glass Novena ($10), Which Help Sustain The Day Of The Dead/Fet Gede As A Free Community Event. Thanks To Joey At Arbor House For Beautiful Altar Flowers.

Sallie Ann Glassman- Day of the Dead Altar

Day of the Dead altar to honor the Dead/Le Mo/Ancestors with three tiers and an eclectic mix of Mexican, Haitian and other items. Photos of beloved dead are attached to the altar cloth and all are welcome to add photos of their own Beloved Dead and Ancestors.

Manbo (priestess) Sallie Ann Glassman has been practicing Vodou in New Orleans since 1976. She was initiated in Port-au-Prince Haiti in 1995 by Oungans Edgard Jean Louis and Silva Joseph. With her Vodou society, La Source Ancienne, she conducts weekly ceremonies in her Bywater temple, Achade Meadows, as well as numerous public ceremonies throughout the year in various locations.  Sallie Ann is the artist for the Enochian Tarot Deck, artist and co-creator of the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot and author and artist of the book Vodou Visions. She has created this altar installation for The Day of the Dead/Fet Gede in her temple for the last 37 years. Altars stand at the crossroads between the Visible and Invisible worlds/ the realm of the Living and the Dead. They are at the crossroads where Spirit meets human prayer.

Darlene Marcello – All Saints Altar

All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, or Feast of All Saints, in the Christian church, a day commemorating all the saints of the church, both known and unknown, celebrated on November 1 in the Western churches and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Eastern churches.

Marcela Liñeiro Singleton – Ancestor Web

Ancestor Web is a giant catcher of souls, a weaving of strands and threads. It is the circuitous road along which the ones who have passed out of this life walk into our hearts, heads, hands. We are connected to everyone who has come before us. Viewers may choose to join in, weaving scraps of fabric bearing their ancestors’ names into the web.

Tata Chola Wengue – Boveda Espiritual-Spirit Altar

Boveda Espiritual-Spirit Altar to focalize and connect with the energy of Ancestors and Spirit guides in the tradition of Espiritismo.

Denise Augustine – New Orleans Altar 

I plan a traditional New Orleans altar. This altar will be a reflection of the altar that I grew up with in neighborhood of Treme. It will be a combination of Voodoo and Catholicism.

Ricardo Pustanio – Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte Altar

Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte (Spanish for Our Lady of the Holy Death) or, colloquially, Santa Muerte (Holy Death), is a female deity (or folk saint depending on school of thought) in Mexican folk religion, particularly Folk Catholicism, venerated primarily in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Though the origins of the worship of Our Lady of the Holy Death are subject to debate, it is most likely a syncretism between pre-Columbian Mesoamerican religion and Spanish culture. Mesoamerica had always maintained a certain reverence towards death, which manifested itself among the religious practices of ancient Mexico, including in the Aztec religion. Death was personified in Aztec and other cultures in the form of humans with half their flesh missing, symbolizing the duality of life and death. From their ancestors the Aztecs inherited the gods Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacihuatl, the lord and lady of Mictlan, the realm of those dead who died of natural causes. In order for the deceased to be accepted into Mictlan, offerings to the lord and lady of death were necessary. In European Christian tradition, many paintings employed skeletons to symbolize human mortality. This altar allso will page homage to those that have passed on and those to be prayed for.

Kelly Cutrone – Altar in Homage to the Inspirational Feminine

Britney Penouilh – At The Mouth of Two Rivers 

Britney Penouilh Will Construct An Altar Titled “At The Mouth Of Two Rivers” Depicting The Mississippi River As The Sacred Waters In An Ancient Consecration Ritual.  With An Image Of The Mouth Of Two Rivers, And A Vessel Navigating The Waters, Offerings Include Items Of Locality: Spanish Moss, Oyster Shells, Sea Shells, Cypress Knees, Local Flowers, Salt, Honey, Peppers, Breads, And Animal Bones.  Precious Imported Offerings Include: Bird Feathers, Leather, Beads, Gemstones, Herbs, And Aromatics.

Beverly Marie Wallace-Sellers – Memento Mori

Dia De Los Muertos Altar and incorperation of symbolism from various culture’s ancestral remembrance

Greta Gladney – Eternity Tree

Greta is a New Orleans native, wife, mother of four and grandmother of four

Jan Crofford – Altar for Departed Musicians 

Altar will pay homage to several departed musical artists as well as other ancestors.