Experience the Ọlọ́jọ́ Ancient Festival in Ile-Ife, Osun State Nigeria

The Ọlọ́jọ́ Festival is an ancient festival celebrated annually in Ilé-Ifẹ̀, Osun State, Nigeria. It is one of the popular festivals in Yoruba land, and has been described as a festival that celebrates the Black race all over the world.

The Yoruba word 'Ọlọ́jọ́' means 'The Day Of The First Dawn' that describes the grateful heart of man towards God's creation and the existence of human.

It is the celebration of the remembrance of “Ògún”, Òrìṣà of Iron, who is believed to have cleared the path at the dawn of creation for the Irúnmọlẹ̀, including Odùduwà, progenitor of the Yorùbá people.

The festival is held annually in October, and is one of the biggest festival on the culture calendar of llé-Ifẹ̀.

On the festival day, the Ọọ̀ni (king of Ifẹ̀) appears after seven days of seclusion and denial, communing with the ancestors and praying for his people. This is to make him pure and ensure the efficacy of his prayers. Before the Ooni emerges, women from his maternal and paternal families sweep the Palace, symbolically ridding the Palace of evil.
The Ooni later appears in public with the Arè crown (King’s Crown), which is believed to be the original crown used by Oduduwa to lead a procession of traditional Chiefs and Priests to perform at the Shrine of Ògún.

The next stage of the ceremony is to lead the crowd to Òkèmògún’s shrine. Here he performs duties including the renewal of oath, divination for the Ọọ̀ni at the foot of Oketage hill by Àràbà Awo (Chief Priest), as well as visiting places of historical importance in llé-Ifẹ̀.
Ọlọ́jọ́ has remained popular in Ilé-Ifẹ̀ because of its myth and history. It connotes the day in the year specially blessed by Olódùmarè (the creator of the Universe).

Ọlọ́jọ́ can also be literally translated as the "Owner for the day". Prayers are offered for peace and tranquility in Yorùbá and Nigeria. All age groups participate. Its significance is the unification of the Yorùbá.