By Shawn Fink for Where
In New Orleans, voodoo is more than just a tourism catchphrase and a marketing ploy. Have one day in the city? Here's how to get your own experience with our quick guide of New Orleans voodoo stops for the adventurous traveler.
Start your exploration with tombs. Just outside the French Quarter in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the tomb of Marie Laveau, the legendary queen of voodoo, where visitors and locals leave offerings year-round in hope of gaining her favor.
Those looking for a more tactile voodoo experience can visit the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum or Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo. Visitors will spot a number of voodoo shops around the city, but for the real deal stop in at Esoterica or browse the selection of herbs, candles and books at modern-day voodoo high priestess Sallie Ann Glassman's Island of Salvation Botanica in the New Orleans Healing Center.
Similar to summer's voodoo baptism on Bayou St. John, in the fall, the New Orleans Healing Center hosts the Anba Dlo Festival to celebrate an element the Crescent City has a love/hate relationship with: water. Meaning "beneath the waters" in Haitian, the festival acknowledges the importance of water in everyday life as well as the impact it has had on the city. Featuring parades, costume contests and a midnight voodoo ceremony, the celebration is presided over by Glassman, who regularly provides lectures on the subject of voodoo in New Orleans.
Want more voodoo? New Orleans also is home to the annual Voodoo Music + Arts Experience festival (held in the fall, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2015), which isn't about the voodoo religion as much as it's about top bands and massive crowds.
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(Photos ©Shawn Fink)