The joint celebration of Alafere, Oya and Ijugbe festivals attracted a huge crowd of participants from within and outside Ile-Ife last weekend.
The Obalejugbe of the source, High Chief Abiodun Akinrefon, and the Ooni were present at the ceremony .
Obarese (IJUGBE) is known as the custodian of rain for mankind.
This year, as the priests went to make sacrifice to Obarese at Idi-Aje shrine, rain that refused to fall for long in the ancient city started falling with immediate effect.
The Obalejugbe ascertained that Ijugbe festival led to heavy rainfall in Ile-Ife and failure to celebrate the diety annually causes scarcity of rain which led to famine on the land, while small Pox will be rampant and cause death in the town.
Also, the High Chief Oyarekun Oyaro, the Balogun of Famia who doubles as Oya priest attributed the rain that poured to the spiritual performance of Oya festival in Ile-Ife.
Oyaro said that the invoked rainfall gave a landmark for the beginning of planting and plenteous harvest.
Oya- Igunnuko/Alafere/Ijugbe festival is a transition festival to welcome raining season and all the nature associated with raining season – rain, wind, thunderstorm.
The festival is basically to show the workings of Olodumare and to make the season to be of high benefit to mankind, to bless the soil for multiple achievement during the season, and for the season not to become a calamity for the people.
The festival witnessed a heavy downpour with wind blowing and thunderstorm which lasted for 2hours to signal the commencement of the celebration.
While Ijugbe also known as Obarese is the deity of rainfall, Oya(Igunnuko) and Alafere are the co-deities of wind. They are all of ORANFE(Sango)’s family and were among the Yoruba’s 401 deities that started the mankind.
The above were taken from a statement released by Comrade Moses Olafare, Director, Media & Public Affairs of the Ooni’s Palace.