Orishada.com reports that [Orunmila Barami Agbonmiregun], the World Ifa Festival was held Saturday June 6, 2009 at Oketase the World Ifa Temple, Ile-Ife. This festival celebrates the New Year for all the traditional Yoruba practitioners.
In the odu Oyeku Irete the festival is referenced:
Opokun Babalawo onigeti lo se Ifa fun won nigeti, oreku Babalawo ileri lo se Ifa fun won nileri, ati opoku ati oreku Babalawo onitase lo se Ifa fun onitase.
This passage tells of Orunmila’s decision to reside at Oketase where all the world will come to worship him. As a result the Ikin of Orunmila to this day continues to be held at Oketase where once a year at the Ifa New Year all the babalawos around the world gather to say adura and feed the Ikin of Orunmila. Each town in Yorubaland and from around the world send their singers, dancers, high chiefs and Ifa priests to represent their town at the festival.
The festival began in the early morning on Saturday. All the babalawos gathered and traveled around Ile-Ife to all the Orisa shrines.
When they returned the Babalawos joined the Araba Agbaye (Chief Ifa Priest) at Oketase and proceeded to the palace of the Ooni.
At the Ooni’s palace all the Awoolodumerindinlogun (highest order babalawo), the Araba Agbaye and other priests from other cities and countries fed the Origi located in the palace.
After they finished all the rituals at the palace, they returned to Oketase. Many more rituals took place at Oketase, the World Ifa Temple.
Following these rituals the babalawos consulted Ifa. After they consulted Ifa each babalawo from different towns recited Ifa verses with regard to the Odu that fell.
After this, everyone present said their own personal adura.
In the morning the all the babalawos and priests proceeded to the palace to personally greet the Ooni in the New Year and recite the meaning
of this year’s Odu. The Ooni discussed with those gathered the Odu and what the New Year will bring. The Ooni also gave advice and participated in the morning’s festivities.
After they left the palace, they returned to Oketase and made the sacrifice for the New Year.
The Odu for the New Year is : Etura Ofun (Ire Aje)
This Odu says that money will be coming. There will be assistance for those in need. One needs to look for that which will assist them to gain money in the new year.
According to this Odu:
Etura ra fun ra fun Babalawo lo se Ifa fun owo (hand)Ifa is saying in this Odu that no one will suffer in this year.Wo wo wo awo ebi do Babalawo meriyeri lo se Ifa fun meriyeri to sawo lo si oko oloburo. Alukin fun orogun re
Ifa is also saying that we need to be careful not to be envious of other, not to be jealous. We should have patience and endure whatever hardship. We should be careful about that which is too shiny, too beautiful. Do not be so prideful that you cannot take advice, be open and heed the advice given. This odu is telling us to following instructions and rules.
According to the Yoruba proverb:
Sa bi Ologun se wiThe meaning is to follow the instructions given, don’t add or delete, endure and do what you are told.
All those that hinder growth and are envious and jealous (ilara) will meet their demise.
Each indivudal should make a sacrifice for Ifa, Aje, Iyaami and Esu.
For information on making your annual sacrifice or to view photos from the Ifa festival, you can visit Orishada.com which is maintained by the Araba Agbaye’s family.