- The first day of the year (New Years Day) is 3rd June.
- The Yoruba calendar is called Kojoda
- The month of June in the Yoruba dimension is the first month of the calendar, and is called Ogudu
- The festival of the Yoruba New Year lasts all year, hence the saying gbogbo ojo ni odun ni ile awo, meaning everyday is a festival in awo’s house
- The Yoruba new year is the same throughout Yorubaland
- Ogudu month is filled with activities celebrating the New Year
- This includes visitations to all orisha groves,
- As part of the celebrations devotees spend a night going up the sacred hill of Oke Itase and staying there till dawn,
- Priests visit Ooni to pay homage during the celebrations
- Celebrations of partying and verse recitals are held in every followers home.
- The Yoruba New Year finale is the shaving of the priests heads.
Babalawo Osunniyi Ifatunmo is a priest at Idingbe Temple, Oyan, Oyo State, Nigeria, and was born in to a traditional Babalawo family. He explained all about the Yoruba New Year.
Did you know that the Yoruba New Year is also celebrated in the US city of Philadelphia ?
“The Odunde Festival is a one-day festival and mostly a street market catered to African-American interests and the African diaspora. It is derived from the tradition of the Yoruba people of Nigeria in celebration of the new year. It is centered at the intersection of Grays Ferry Avenue and South Street in the U.S. city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.” – wiki
It is said to be the largest African street festival on the East coast of the United States.
A happy New Year to us all!