When one says the word Vodou, the first spirit that comes to mind is Legba. Legba is undoubtedly the most important spirits in the hierarchy of Vodou; he is the guardian of the gates, crossroads, courtyards and all Vodou temples (Peristil). He is the necessary intermediary between the livings and the spiritual world, his powers are absolutely a must for any kind of interaction with the Loas. No Vodou ceremony of any sort can take place without his permission. Because of this important privilege Legba is always the first invoked in all Vodou ceremony.
Although his possession are extremely violent, his caring nature and politeness earned him the affectionate nickname "Papa Legba" He is a small, crooked lovable old man, his body covered with sores and his crutch or cane is always presented to him for support , old age prevents him from standing on his own. He wears a straw hat and carries his djakout (straw bag) full with rare herbs and plants that he uses and, his favorite drink clairin.
During his celebration, either a goat or a grey rooster, with yam and other roots vegetables are prepared for him as offerings, put inside the djakout, then hung on trees. In Haitian Vodou, the image of Saint Lazarus for the crutch that he uses for support or St Peter for the keys that he holds, are used to represent Papa Legba.
If you are a non initiate, you MUST acknowledge Legba and ask for his permission and guidance when addressing other Loa(s), by lighting a yellow candle and place it at the entrance of the door.
"Legba nan baryè a
Legba na baryè a
Legba nan barye a se ou ki pote drapo
se ou ki pra'l pare solèy pou lwa yo"
Legba is at the gate
Legba is at the gate, it is you who carry the flag
It is you who will protect the loa from the sun
In : religion