Haitians flow into cemeteries to mark Voodoo festival of the dead

People have been streaming into cemeteries across Haiti bearing candles, food offerings and bottles of dark rum to mark the country's Voodoo festival of the dead.

At Port-au-Prince's national cemetery, priests and priestesses dressed in white gather around a blackened monument that is believed to be the oldest grave. There, they evoke spirit Baron Samedi, guardian of the dead.

Other Haitians on Sunday remembered dead relatives and asked spirits to grant favors or provide guidance.

Voodoo is a blend of African spirituality and Christian tenets that slaves created centuries ago.

This year's celebration comes shortly before authorities are expected to announce the top two finishers in a presidential first-round vote.

Voodoo priest Pierre Saint Ange cracked a rope whip and told onlookers not to "fight with guns or burn tires."