The 41st Odunde Festival had as Special Guest of Honour this year, the only living Orisa , the 401st deity of Yoruba cosmology, Royal blood of Oduduwa (progenitor of the Yoruba race), Kabiyesi Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II. He attended at the special invitation of Mama Fernandez who began the Odunde Festival 41 years ago , to mark the Yoruba New Year which traditionally begins on the 1st of June, with official celebration on the 3rd of June worldwide. The Odunde Festival this year held on the 12th of June, the second Sunday of June as usual. It is centered at the intersection of Grays Ferry Avenue and South Street in the U.S. city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is the biggest African street festival on the East Coast of America with a yearly attendance of around 500,000 visitors.
The Odunde festival started in Philadelphia in 1975. Lois Fernandez established the festival with $100 from neighborhood donations. The celebration is now the largest African celebration on the east coast of the United States. It is held in the month of June. The festival brings in Africans from all parts of the world, including Africa, Brazil, and other places around the United States. According to WXPN, “… beginning with an all-inclusive spiritual procession to the Schuylkill River, the festival carries on from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., filling the day with vibrant traditional clothing, African food, and art and craft vendors from around the world.”- wiki
And this year, Odunde was particularly spectacular with the added flavour of Yoruba Royal Tradition. Here are some of the best photos and videos from this year’s extraordinary Odunde Festival 2016.
ODUNDE 2016 VIDEO PLAYLIST BELOW: