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Offline naijatowns

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Festivals in Yoruba land
« on: October 03, 2016, 04:59:03 AM »
Festivals in Yoruba land

One of the first observations of first time visitors to Yorubaland is the rich, pomp and ceremonial nature of their culture, which is made even more visible by the urbanized structures of Yoruba settlements. These occasions are avenues to experience the richness of the Yoruba culture.

Traditional musicians are always on hand to grace the occasions with heavy rhythms and extremely advanced percussion which the Yorubas are well known for world over.

 Praise singers and Griots are there to add their historical insight to the meaning and significance of the ceremony, and of course the varieties of colorful dresses and attires worn by the people, attest to the aesthetic sense of the average Yoruba.

The Yoruba are a very expressive people who celebrate major events with colorful festivals and celebrations (Ayeye).

Some of these festivals (about thirteen principal ones) are secular and only mark achievements and milestones in the achievement of mankind, these include

wedding ceremonies (gbyw),

Naming ceremonies (somolrko),

Funerals (snk),

Housewarming (sl),

New-Yam festival (jesu),

Odon itsu in Atakpame,

Harvest ceremonies (kr),

Birth (b),

Chieftaincy (jy) and so forth.

 Others have a more spiritual connotation, such as the various days and celebrations dedicated to Specific Orisha like:

 the Ogun day (Oj gn),

The Osun festival, which is usually done at the Osun-Osogbo sacred grove located on the banks of the Osun river and around the ancient town of Osogbo. The festival is dedicated to the river goddess Osun, which is usually celebrated in the month of August (Os gn) yearly.

The festival attracts thousands of Osun worshippers from all over Yorubaland and The Yoruba diaspora in the Americas, spectators and tourists from all walks of life.

The Osun-Osogbo Festival is a two-week-long programme. It starts with the traditional cleansing of the town called 'Iwopopo', which is then followed in three days by the lighting of the 500-year-old sixteen-point lamp called Ina Olojumerindinlogun, which literally means The sixteen eyed fire, the lighting of this sacred lamp, heralds the beginning of the Osun festival. Then comes the 'Ibroriade', an assemblage of the crowns of the past ruler, Ataojas of Osogbo, for blessings.

This event is led by the sitting Ataoja of Osogbo and the Arugba Yeye Osun (who is usually a young maiden dressed in white, who carries a sacred white calabash that contains propitiation materials meant for the goddess Osun, she is also accompanied by a committee of priestesses. A similar event holds in the New World as Odunde Festival

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Festivals in Yoruba land
« on: October 03, 2016, 04:59:03 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: Festivals in Yoruba land
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 05:04:02 AM »
 
Eyo Olokun festival

Eyo Olokun
Another very popular festival with spiritual connotations is the Eyo Olokun festival or Orisha play, celebrated by the people of Lagos.

The Eyo festival is a dedication to the God of the Sea Olokun, who is an Orisha, and whose name literally mean Owner of the Seas. Generally, there is no customarily defined time for the staging the Eyo Festival, this leads to a building anticipation as to what date would be decided upon.

Once a date for its performance is selected and announced, the festival preparations begin. It encompasses a week-long series of activities, and culminates in a striking procession of Thousands of men clothed in white and wearing a variety of coloured hats, called Aga.

 The procession moves through Lagos Island Isale Eko, which is the historical centre of the Lagos metropolis. On the streets, they moves through various crucial locations and landmarks in the city, including the palace of the traditional ruler of Lagos, the Oba, known as the Iga Idunganran.

The festival starts from dusk to dawn, and has been held on Saturdays (Oj bmta) from time immemorial. A full week before the festival (always a Sunday), the 'senior' eyo group, the Adimu (identified by a black, broad-rimmed hat), goes public with a staff.

 When this happens, it means the event will take place on the following Saturday. Each of the four other 'important' groups Laba (Red), Oniko (yellow), Ologede (Green) and Agere (Purple) take their turns in that order from Monday to Thursday.

NaijaSky

Re: Festivals in Yoruba land
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 05:04:02 AM »

Offline naijatowns

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Re: Festivals in Yoruba land
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 05:07:00 AM »
The Eyo masquerade essentially admits tall people, which is why it is described as Agogoro Eyo (literally meaning the tall Eyo masquerade).

 In the manner of a spirit (An Orisha) visiting the earth on a purpose, the Eyo masquerade speaks in a ventriloquial voice, suggestive of its otherworldliness; and when greeted, it replies: Mo yo fun e, mo yo fun ara mi which in Yoruba means: (I rejoice for you, and I rejoice for myself).

 This response connotes the masquerades as rejoicing with the person greeting it for the witnessing of the day, and its own joy at taking the hallowed responsibility of cleansing. During the festival, Sandals and foot wears, as well as Suku: A hairstyle that is popular among the Yorubas, one that has the hair converge at the middle, then shoot upward, before tipping downward, are prohibited.

The festival has also taken a more touristic dimension in recent times, which like the Osun Osogbo festival, attracts visitors from all across Nigeria, as well as Yoruba diaspora populations.

 In-fact, it is widely believed that the play is one of the manifestations of the customary African revelry that serves as the forerunner of the modern carnival in Brazil and other parts of the New World, which may have been started by the Yoruba slaves transplanted in that part of the world due to the Atlantic slave trade.

NaijaSky

Re: Festivals in Yoruba land
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 05:07:00 AM »


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