Night of the Witches – Catemaco, Mexico
“Noche de Brujas,” or Night of the Witches, gathers hundreds of witches, shamans, healers and other spiritualists from all over Mexico to perform ceremonies to rid themselves of the past year’s negative energies. Ceremonies began in 1970 with a brujo (shaman) hosting a witch convention and continued there after with the town soon becoming busy with visitors as well as hundreds of witches, shamans and healers.
Catemaco is considered the hub of the Mexican witchcraft profession and here you can purchase curses as well as cures. Events include special ceremonies, dancing, singing, galas, and of course supernatural advise for those willing to consult a witch of their choosing. Always popular, is to get a tarot card reading, which can start around 100 pesos. Whatever spell you need, you can likely find it here (for a price of course).
Although witches get the festival title, you’re also sure to encounter prophets, magicians and oracles. It may seem like an event of jest to tourists, but bear in mind that these are people who consider this not only their profession, but a strict way of life. Witchcraft traditions mix up with old beliefs, voodoo customs, and Spanish medieval traditions.
One advantage of attending this festival is it’s proximity to other attractions such as a tour of Catemaco’s several islands (including the Monkey Island that is the home of Thailand monkeys) or visiting the rainforest of Reserva Ecolólogica de Naciyaga, where you can receive a shamanic ‘spiritual cleansing’ or take a spa in mineral mud.