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:
- Isese is the Yoruba word for Tradition.
- The appropriate greeting for Isese Day is “Isese l’agba” and the response is “Isese l’agba gbogbo wa” .
- 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.
- Although the actual day is a state holiday, week long festivities leading up to August 20 are celebrated in Osogbo.
- 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