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The Journal Gazette

  • Santera priestess Chuchita touches with the tip of her tongue a slaughtered goat's head during a sacrificial Santeria ceremony in honor of Saint Barbara's feast day, in Bahia Honda, Cuba, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. In Cuba, the Catholic saint is associated with the Santeria diety Chango, the orisha of lighting, fire, and war where believers pay tribute to both every December 4 with offerings of flowers, fruit, burning candles, the beating of drums and animal sacrifices. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 9:21 pm

Photo Package: Cubans honor Saint Barbara

The Associated Press

Cubans paid tribute to Saint Barbara and the Santeria deity Chango on Wednesday with offerings of flowers, fruit, burning candles, drumming and animal sacrifices.

Chango is the orisha - spirit or deity in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria - of lightning, fire and war, and is associated with Saint Barbara.

Believers hold ceremonies for "protection" from evil on Saint Barbara's feast day, which is held every Dec. 4 in Cuba.

Experts say as many as 80 percent of Cubans observe some kind of Santeria.