It’s Voodoo Time at the International House Hotel in New Orleans
Each year, voodoo followers celebrate of the important “feast day”, named St. John’s Eve on June 23. Also called Bonfire Night, this midsummer festival occurs on the the shortest night of the whole year.
St. John’s Eve is also significant because it’s the evening before the feast of St. John the Baptist. Voodoo has a long history in the city of New Orleans. The practice still thrives to this day. Voodoo can be categorized as a group of native religions from West Africa. You can get a taste of the cultural influence of voodoo at the iconic International House hotel in New Orleans.
This luxury boutique hotel is located in downtown New Orleans. St. John’s Eve has been celebrated there for 17 years and next month you can experience a true “voodoo” ritual. Between 6 and 8pm on June 23, a voodoo ceremony including a ritual head-washing will take place. This year’s ceremony will be led by Sallie Ann Glassman. She is the ordained vodoo priestess who owns the nearby Island of Salvation Botanica, located on Piety Street. It’s a supernatural celebration honoring the birthday of St. John the Baptist.
The International House building is a New Orleans landmark. It started out as a bank, then became the world’s first World Trade Center. The building was designed with neoclassical architecture. It became the International House hotel in 1998. The hotel was the inspiration of local owner Sean Cummings, Los Angeles interior designer LM Pagano and New Orleans architect Brooks Graham. The hotel has become an ideal place of sophisticated travelers who desire luxury accommodations along with the cultural vibe of New Orleans.
As you enter the hotel you’ll see a 10-foot-tall papier-mache statue of Marie Laveau. She was the legendary founder, queen and practitioner of voodoo. Marie Laveau died on June 16, 1881 and is buried at the city’s St. Louis Cemetery #1 on Rampart Street. Popular with visitors to New Ortleans, her tomb is surprisingly the second most seen tomb in the entire U.S.
The hotel’s guest rooms provide guests local, urban views and luxury amenities. The International House has been recognized for years as one of the top boutique hotel anywhere. The French Quarter in New Orleans is just 2 block from the hotel, so it’s a perfect property for a luxury stay.
The motivation behind the hotel’s voodoo’s interested was discussed by Sean Cummings, “The idea is to share with guests how joyful, exotic, spiritual, and completely authentic this city remains, a proud people shunning the Brooklyn | Portland-ization that strips identity from so many other places in this Instagram age. We offer a glimpse of New Orleans today, a city of architecture, food, music, joyful culture and colorful characters unlike any other place, living it like a local beyond the obvious.”
Cummings focuses on seven different rituals that annually make up the key festivals New Orleans honors each year. They are – Carnival, St. Joseph’s Day, the Inauguration of Summer Dress, St. John’s Eve, Winter Dress, All Saint’s/All Soul’s Day and Christmas.
Visiting New Orleans is a wonderful experience anytime of the year. Consider a trip to learn more about the city’s various voodoo rituals at the International House Hotel. Our luxury travel specialists are here to help. Stop by again and follow this luxury blog. Read about more interesting travel ideas.
Photo: International House