The Ile Eko Sango/Osun Mil'Osa (IESOM) will be celebrating the 15th annual Sango/Osun Rain Festival from today until Sunday. The theme of this year's festival is Reaching In...Reaching Out...Sharing the Wisdom of Ifa.
The festival begins at 6.30 am on Friday at Little Oyo, Shrines Garden, Upper Gasparillo Road, Santa Cruz, home of the Ile.
An integral component of the Rain Festival, is the presentation of the Sango/Osun Rain Festival Award to individuals who have contributed significantly to the development and understanding of the Orisa tradition, and The Sangodasawande Olakiitan Appreciation Award to individuals for their contribution to the community, education, culture and the arts.
This year, the awards will be presented as part of the opening ceremony of the festival on August 8, and the recipients of the Sangodasawande Olakiitan Appreciation Award include businesswoman Lilla Williams; African Credit Union administrator Hazel Frank-Daniel; and spiritual leader/educator Swami Prakashananda.
For contributions to the development of the Ifa/Orisa tradition, The Rain Festival Award will be presented to Yeye Agbomola Olomitutu Iya l'Osun Osunyemi Omotaiwo Ogunlade (Maria Chambers) of Ile Ijosin Otura Meji-Awon Osun of Maturita, Arima; and, Oloye Ifagbenjo Oriyomi Orisagbemi (Edwin Doyle), Ojise Obatala of Edena.
A release from the organisers said the three-day festival celebrates and is aimed at bringing a greater understanding and appreciation of the Orisa deities Sango and Osun and the roles they play in the lives of their devotees.
Saturday's activities will start with an Egungun ceremony and procession through the village of Upper Gasparillo, Santa Cruz, at 9 am.
Following this, the day's programme will continue with learning activities through workshops and later with open mike/storytelling, spoken word and Capoeria.
Sunday's programme begins with Nangereo (Sun Ritual) followed by a Sango/Osun pilgrimage with prayers, salutations and rituals to Sango and Osun. Also scheduled on Sunday are two interactive workshops–The Essence of Sango/Osun and a drumming workshop.
The Rain Festival brings people together to celebrate rebirth, commitment, understanding, and responsibility in a physical and spiritual sense. Observation of the rain cycle will emphasise the importance and sacredness of the rain.
Sango: Sango represents lightning, dance, drum and enthusiasm; he possesses the force of Ogun and the wisdom of Obatala. Because of his ability to contemplate and tap into his creative potential he can resolve any challenge with inventiveness while keeping cooler than the cool side of a pillow on a hot summer's night. Sango is the most skilled warrior and therefore strategy and skill is his realm.
Osun: Osun, the deity of river waters, is also seen as the embodiment of love and sexuality. She represents the joy of life and is, in many ways, what makes life worth living. She is the patron of gold and all wealth is hers to give. Osun rules over marriage and is the giver of fertility; her influence is gentle and loving and she teaches humanity that the secret of life is love.
For further information on the Rain Festival, contact Ile Eko Sango/Osun Mil'Osa at 369-0742/361-9375/364-9980 or via e-mail at iesomgar[email protected]hoo.com