As Muslims celebrate the birth of Mohammed all around the world today, and Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus tomorrow, we highlight an ancient Yoruba  festival celebrated in many countries around the world which has only recently received government approval in its homeland . Isese Day celebrates the Yoruba traditions and religion in a display of culture and spirituality.

Here are 5 facts about The Isese Traditional Festival:

  1. Isese is the Yoruba word for Tradition.
  2. The appropriate greeting for Isese Day  is “Isese l’agba” and the response is  “Isese l’agba gbogbo wa” .
  3. Isese day is celebrated by Yoruba diaspora communities all around the world with parties, festivals, parades, lectures and display of other traditional apparels to attract tourists from other parts of the world. The date does differ depending on the country but the spirit of Isese tradition is the same.
  4. Although the actual day is a state holiday, week long festivities leading up to August 20 are celebrated in Osogbo.
  5. Isese Day was first declared as a public holiday by the Osun State government in Nigeria,  in  2014 .

All photo credit to Ife Martins


Adebayo Adegbembo of genii games who attended the Festival in Osogbo this year, and wrote about his exhilarating experience  here , said “For all said and expressed about the declining fate of our indigenous cultures, the Osun-Osogbo festival gives hope. Its continuous embrace by the people — old, young, far and wide, worshippers and spectators alike — centuries on is further testament to its significance.”


Isese Day was celebrated in Trinidad on September 24 this year







3 thoughts on “5 Facts About Isese

  1. Isese celebrations worldwide can become the means/forum through which the world can know about Yoruba people and their culture. We are a diverse people so many of our ways will have similarities and differences. Let us work at celebrating and enjoying ALL areas of our culture. We in Trinidad and Tobago have joined our African brothers and sisters worldwide in putting our celebrations on for the first time in 2015.

    1. I agree! we have so much in common, and much to celebrate about our culture and similarities. Its so good to see the videos of Yoruba celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago. Isese l’agaba gbogbo wa! Thanks for your comment!

  2. And yet for the second year Trinidad and Tobago like our African Family will commemorate Isese Day September 24th, as we aim for a higher level as we celebrate the Traditions of Yoruba Spirituality.

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