Seven Quick Facts About Olojo Festival In Ile-Ife That You Should Know

Seven Quick Facts About Olojo Festival In Ile-Ife That You Should Know

His Imperial Majesty, The Arole Oduduwa, Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, The Ooni of Ife wearing the sacred Aare crown at a typical edition of Olojo Festival Celebration. Photo: Instagram|Ooniadimulaife

In this post, we bring to you a drop-down of seven quick and stunning facts about Nigeria's biggest annual cultural festival, the Olojo Festival of the Yoruba people of Subsaharan Africa held in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Southwest, Nigeria.

As the cradle and spiritual headquarters of the Yoruba race, one the largest ethnic groups in the African continent, Ile-Ife is home to numerous colourful traditional festivals. Olojo however takes the lead as the most prominent and widely attended of all the festivals native to this foremost Africa's historical city. 

Below is a list of seven prominent facts that we think you should know about this renowned festival:

Read Also: Olojo Festival 2022: What You Need To Know

First, Olojo is only celebrated in the City of Ile-Ife. Unlike other prominent festivals notable among which are the New Yam Festival, Olokun Festival, Edi Festival, Egungun Festival, Oro Festival and numerous others that are replicated in several other Yoruba towns and beyond, it is only in Ife that Olojo is celebrated. This is based on the belief that Ile-Ife is the source of mankind and where the creation of the universe took place. Hence the Festival's tagline: "One Yoruba, One Source, One Festival".

Second, a central figure during olojo festival celebration is the Ooni, who plays critical roles as the spiritual head and custodian of the Yoruba tradition. It is one period of the year when the Ooni observes a special seven-day private moment of prayers and denial, communing with the ancestors on behalf of the people for peace and prosperity of the city in particular and Yoruba race in general.

Third, Olojo is the only festival of which participation is open to all age groups and genders. Unlike some other festivals that are usually restricted to specific groups or worshippers, Olojo is celebrated actively by everyone.

Fourth, Olojo equally celebrates Ogun, god of iron who happened to be the first son of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race. Ogun was very prominent and so revered based on his crafts as a blacksmith while he lived in Ile-Ife, manufacturing farming and hunting tools. It is a deity associated with anything iron. 

Fifth, The Ile-Ife's ancestral crown, the "Aare" crown is worn only once in a year and that is during Olojo Festival. The Ooni, King of Ile-Ife adorns the sacred crown as a reaffirmation of the oath between the living the the ancestors on one side and to offer opportunity to bless the people of people on the other as it is believed that whatever the Ooni says while wearing the crown is binding.

Sixth, Olojo is very significant as it celebrates the unity, unification and a homecoming for the entire Yoruba race. It is not a festival for Ile-Ife or its inhabitants alone but one that brings together all the descendants of Oduduwa from home and the diaspora.

Seventh, all deities participate at the Olojo festival. Ile-Ife is known as a city of 401 deities who are celebrated at different times of the year but are also showcased during Olojo festival.

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