The Osun Osogbo festival kicked off on Monday amidst pomp and pageantry, with the traditional cleansing of the city of Osogbo called ‘Iwopopo.”
The Iwopopo marks the official commencement of the 2021 edition of the annual festival to celebrate the Osun river goddess.
The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji (Olaonipekun Larooye II) led the Osogbo Cultural Heritage Council, traditional chiefs, worshippers, devotees, government officials and residents of the city in a symbolic cleansing of the city,marching through designated route.
After the cleansing,people within different age brackets, social groups, communities and titled chiefs paid homage to the king, who was seated in the centre of town.
The drumming, singing and dancing brought the city of Osogbo to a halt for hours as residents trooped out in obeisance, celebrating the flag off of the arguably biggest annual religious festival among the Yoruba race.
Other activities to mark this year’s Osun Osogbo Festival include the lighting of the 500-year-old sixteen-point lamp called ‘Ina Olojumerindinlogun,’ slated for Thursday August 5; ‘Iboriade’, a unique assemblage and display of the crowns of the past Ataojas of Osogbo, for blessings which will come up on August 9.
The grand finale of the festival, which is being streamed live for local and international audience, Osun devotees, worshippers and Yoruba culture enthusiasts in diaspora, comes up on Friday August 13, with the sacrificial offering by “Arugba” at the Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.