ONDO CITY OGUN FESTIVAL ; The Carnival of Blue & White Powders
Credit : Mayor Oluwafemi Osunleti
Ogun festival is an annual festival which is the celebration of the deity; the god of Iron. Ogun apart from being the god of iron, he was a great hunter.
History has it that, he was betrayed during his journey in Ire-Ekiti which led to his death, surprisingly he (Ogun) rose from the dead to behead all who betrayed him.
Traditionally Ogun festival is celebrated in ONDO kingdom between late August or early September with sacrifices of Snails, Tortoises and Dogs. It is a time when music fills the air and marches fill the street as people gather to pay respect to their ancestors. Participants are richly dressed with white and blue powder on their faces and masquerades are seen on the street dancing.
The celebration of the Ogun festival will not be complete without the Worshippers, marching towards the Ogun shrine where dogs are sacrificed, the priests performs traditional dances, prayers and some ritual rites. The worshippers of Ogun believe that observing the Ogun festival brings forth good fortune to the land and protect them from his his wrath with the commonest being road accident.
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The festival have passed through different sphere where some local attributes had been replaced by the youth for trending cultures. It’s a Carnival like experience now, with large influx of older Youths (Guys & Ladies) their associates from neighboring states and in diaspora visiting to watch and participate. With the Youths coming together to speak in one accord against some social vices under the aegis “ONDO YOUTH COALITIONS” appearing in branded shirt with inscription“End Violence, Avoid Cultism” and Placards, a walk campaign aimed at tackling social vices and promoting a peaceful celebration devoid of Fights & Crisis.
It also serve an avenue for seeing old friends and people, kinda Reunion system. One of those Interviewed by name BiolaFashion confessed seeing friends she has not seen in a very long while.
The Osemawe of the ONDO; the Paramount ruler of the kingdom is seen dressed in Royal Regalia im company of his wife (Olori) & the High Chief (Iwarefa) in company of other guest sitted at the Royal court of his Magnificent Palace, where the worshipper as a sign of respect, stop to pay Obeisance to the Osemawe, whom in turns prays for them and gift them some fresh mint (new currency.
It’s a day of fun; get yourself white and blue powder and merry to the music blasting from every junction. An entertainer by name “DemmyBlaise” was quoted saying “even if you see the Governor today and pour him powder, he will do nothing but smile back at you”. Everyone understands this is our own Halloween festival.