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NEW YEAR'S DAY IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

IN PREPARING FOR THE NEW YEAR ON DECEMBER 31 EVERYONE DRINKS A LOT A
GOES TO BED VERY LATE, BUT THIS ISN'T THE BIG EVENT.
AT 6:00 A.M. ON JANUARY 1 WE ALL AWOKE TO THE SOUND OF A CANNON
GOING OFF.
IN ABOUT 20 MINUTES EVERYONE IN THE VILLAGE MUST BE IN THE VILLAGE
SQUARE.
THE VOODOO MAN IS ABOUT TO ARRIVE.
HE IS DRESSED IN ANIMAL SKINS AND MATERIALS WITH A ANIMAL HEAD AND
HORNS.
NOTHING ON HIM IS VISIBLE.
HIS MAIN OBJECT AT THIS TIME IS TO CHASE EVERYONE AND IF HE
CATCHES YOU HE WILL HIT YOU WITH A SWITCH.
HE CARRIES BIG KNIVES THAT HE SWINGS BACK AND FORTH AND HE THROWS
THEM THROUGH THE AIR.
HE SEARCHES HOUSE FOR HOUSE TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS PFESENT.
IF YOU ARE SCARED TO COME OUT HE WILL COME IN AND BRING YOU OUT.
THROUGHOUT THE DAY EVERYONE FORMS ONTO GROUPS AND GOES ABOUT
SINGING AND DANCING AND DRINKING.
TOWARDS THE END OF THE DAY HE GOES FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE
TO RECIEVE GIFTS OF MONEY AND HE BLESSES THE HOUSE AND ANY
SMALL KIDS.
IF YOU GET NEAR THE WATER HE WILL NOT COME AFTER YOU.

Submitter comment: THE SIGHT OF THE VOODOO MAN WAS TOO MUCH FOR ME.
I TRIED TO HIDE IN MY ROOM AND LOCK THE DOOR, BUT HE CAME WITH HIS
FOLLOWERS AND GOT ME.
WORD HAD SPREAD FROM DAY ONE THAT AN AMERICAN HAD COME TO THE
VILLAGE.
I DID EVENTUALLY JOIN IN AND FOLLOW THE CROWD.

Where learned: NIGERIA ; LAGOS

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve

Date learned: 10-00-1979

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