Cuba: The Day Dedicated to San Lazaro

December 19, 2012 | Print Print |

HT Photo Feature by Elio Delegado Valdes

HAVANA TIMES — One of the largest celebrations of religious faith on our island is the pilgrimage to the shrine of San Lazaro. Every December 17, the site — located just outside of Havana in the town of Rincon — becomes the home to thousands of people who come to make good on some promise they’ve made and to worship San Lazaro.

Thanks to religious syncretism that characterizes religious practices in Cuba, Babalu Aye is represented by San Lazaro on crutches and accompanied by two faithful dogs.

The Religion of Ocha attributes countless miracles to Babalu Aye. For believers of the Regla de Ocha, he is one and the same as San Lazaro on crutches; he is the deity for those who pray for the healing of skin diseases and infectious diseases, including epidemics.

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery


What's your opinion?

  • Griffin

    A very nice collection of photographs, Elio. Thank you for sharing them here. Faith persists because it serves a purpose, it fills a need the people have.

  • Superman Lives

    I have an honest question. I am always on the oath to find truth and sense of our existence. I am confused by this worship of San Lazaro (Babalu). He is known as lord or spirit of earth who represents sickness and punishes other disease. This is very confusing to me because of these scriptures.
    New Living Translation
    Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.'”
    Exodus 20:4-5
    New International Version (NIV)
    4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God,