– Sophie Shiznit Njenga
Benin has a couple of things that make it a good tourist destination. And no I’m not talking about their beaches, but more along the lines of culture. Benin is home to Voodoo; the birth place. Voodoo spread across the world from Benin especially due to the slave trade era. Pick a spot anywhere in the world where Voodoo is practised and when you backtrack it, you will notice it all started from some piece of the puzzle that came from Benin. E.g. practises done in Brazil are traced back to Benin due to the slave trade. Voodoo is such a big thing in the country that it is actually recognised as religion. Like you can practise Islam, Christianity or Voodoo. And this is quite normal there. Nobody is shocked if you said that you practise Voodoo. The Benin hometown of this practise is called Ouidah. Here, you can find lots of museums explaining origins and history. You can also find temples of worship to Voodoo gods e.g. Temple of Snakes (considered to be one of the representations of their gods). If you manage to plan your trip to Benin right, you can catch their annual Voodoo festival where they celebrate the culture by showcasing practises, rituals and dances to the public.
This is usually held during the first week of January (date differs every year).
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