Saut-d’Eau owes its name to a waterfall called ‘Le Saut’ which flows down from mount Terrible in the Centre Department of Haiti, the French translation for ‘Saut-d’Eau is waterfall. Located near Mirebalais and 60 miles north of Port au Prince, this region holds cultural significance in Haiti not only because of its rich water and vegetation, the city has increasingly become an authentic tourist centre receiving thousands of visitors who come to discover the inmost roots and traditions of Haitian voodoo.
Saut-d’Eau has been labelled the ‘city of happiness,’ it is a well-known sacred place of voodoo pilgrimage. The falls became a blessed place after it became extensively alleged that the Virgin Mary had appeared nearby on a palm tree. The palm tree was axed down by a French priest who was accurately concerned that the cultural significance of the tree would adopt a large amount of superstition, but the action was ineffective, and the area itself became sanctified in despite of his efforts.
The true meaning of Saut-d’Eau is revealed at the annual celebratory festival the city hold in honour of patron saint Mary of Mount Carmel. During the three days in between July 14-16, the falls are the site of a large religious pilgrimage, during this ‘festival’ celebration, various voodoo rituals are held. The falls are also visited frequently all year round with Haitians trekking to the waterfall in bid of being blessed by Virgin Mary. Those unwell and in need believe that the water of the falls will wash over them as they perform the various Catholicism or voodoo rituals.