In its most traditional form, a rara is fundamentally an ambulatory vodou ceremony. In Haiti, during the period between Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) and the Resurrection, pedestrian bands generally comprised of the congregants of a peristil, or vodou temple, leave the sanctity and security of their home base to march out through their neighborhood and overland to fulfill the exigencies of the spirits. These long, half-jogged, half-marched obligatory parades or, perhaps more aptly, pilgrimages, follow routes prescribed by the supernatural. The rara visits sites of historic and mystical significance to the family or lakou (the extended family compound, its lands, cultivations and community), fulfill annual commitments to the deceased, and bestow honor on neighboring houngans, or vodou priests, both living and dead. A traditional rara is led through the countryside (and in the ever-urbanizing context of Haiti, the city) by two queens (renn) and a kolonel, who wields a whip both to maintain discipline and to salute or call the spirits by cracking it. In theory nobody marches in front of the colonel except an escort of spirits, and an important part of his job is to keep this space clear for their invisible presences to occupy.