The Osun-Osogbo Festival 

2 Days

Overview

The Osun-Osogbo Festival is held every August at the Osun- Osogbo Sacred Grove Forest, a UNESCO world heritage site. As a mark of the bond that was established six centuries ago, it is a traditional tribal festival to honor the river goddess, Osun.

It  has been one of the most outstanding and preserved cultural practices of the various festivals in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, a mark of the bond that was established six centuries ago. The Osun-Osogbo Festival is a traditional tribal festival from the Yoruba people, held to honor the river goddess, Osun.

Precisely, every August, a grand and colourful festival is organized at the ‘Osun Sacred Grove’ in Osogbo. This draws tens of thousands of believers and tourists from both inside and outside the country to pray and sacrifice to the goddess Osun. The Osun devotees dress traditionally in white cloths and believe that the River goddess brings divine favour and has healing and fertility powers.

This festival, with its international status, has become a major tourist attraction. Observations over the years have shown that the festive period is about the best time to see the city as people parade the streets in their colours. The people look forward to it with great expectation and for the period that it lasts, procession, dance, art exhibition, and colourful carnivals are major attractions of the Osun Oshogbo cultural festival.
The event over the years, has given residents and tourists the opportunity to recreate socially, culturally, as they re-enact one of their renowned age-long spiritual and communal feast.

What’s the History of the Osun Festival?

The Osun festival is believed to have a history of more than 700 years. Historically, an ancestral occurrence led to the celebration of this festival. Once upon a time, a group of migrating people who were led by a great hunter called Olutimehin settled on the bank of Osun river, to save themselves from famine. At the riverside, Osun the goddess appeared from the water in front of Olutimehin and requested him to lead people to a special place (present Osogbo town). The goddess promised to protect all the group and bring them prosperity in return for an annual sacrifice to her. The group accepted the proposition. Today the annual sacrifice to the Osun River Goddess is what is still celebrated as the Osun, or Osun-Osogbo Festival.

 

How do people celebrate the Osun Festival?

The Osun Festival is a two-week-long program. It starts with the traditional cleansing of the town called ‘Iwopopo’, which is followed in three days by the lighting of the 500-year-old sixteen-point lamp called ‘Ina Olojumerindinlogun’.

Then comes the ‘Iboriade’, an assemblage of the crowns of the past ruler, Ataojas of Osogbo, for blessings. This event is led by the sitting Ataoja of Osogbo and the Arugba, Yeye Osun and a committee of priestesses. The festival traditionally includes a celebration of many local artistic traditions, including drumming, dancing, musical performing, wearing of elaborate costumes, speaking of the Yoruba language, recitation of praise poetry and

As a mark of the bond that was established six centuries ago, the Oshogbo people gather annually to celebrate what they observe as their Founder’s Day. A unique cultural practice built around the relationship that existed between a river goddess and Oba Gbadewolu Laroye inside the Osun Grove, lay the origin of the Oshogbo ascendancy and kingship institution.

Itinerary

Day 1 :

Tourists will be driven from Lagos to Osogbo in Osun State for about 4 hours drive.

On arrival in Osogbo, tourists will be checked into a 3/4 star hotel and guided them appropriately how to participate in the festival for the two days of attendance. Tourists who indicates interest to spend more days are always givig fair considerations.

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The Osun-Osogbo Festival