Yesterday, August 16, at midnight in Koso a new year began for the followers of Shango (Sàngó), Orisha Yoruba of fire and thunder. The New Year celebration is part of the Sàngó World Festival that has been taking place in Oyo since Thursday.
The new year started when the Mogba Koso (the supreme chief of Koso and guardian of the sacred sanctuary of Sàngó) performed one of the most sacred rituals of this Orisha: to make an offering with new yam to Sàngó Koso. From there, all the followers of Shango who gathered in Koso to celebrate the new year began to eat yam from the new harvest.
The thousands of people who joined the celebration, in addition to eating yams, went from venue to venue in Koso singing to Shango (Sàngó) with the Bata drums, and singing an oriki for all the Alaafin of the past, as the maximum representation of Sàngó in Oyo since time immemorial.
The new year of Shango’s followers on the traditional Yoruba calendar
The reason that the New Year in Oyo is celebrated in August is due to the traditional Yoruba calendar. Unlike the Western calendar that has been in force since the end of the 16th century and that has spread almost throughout the world, for the Yoruba a year lasts 13 months, while a month (period known as Jàkúta Olóyin) lasts 28 days, and a week, four days. Logically, the celebrations, as in ancient times, are due to the harvests, hence the new yam harvest is celebrated in Yoruba lands on different dates, depending on the tradition of each town.
During the Jàkúta Olóyin farmers and hunters return to the city with their families and the chiefs gather in the palace. Each boss is greeted with ogi (a hot porridge) mixed with òyin (honey). From there the name Olóyin is derived. Shango’s followers dedicate one day a week to propitiate this Orisha. That day is known as Òsè Sàngó Jàkúta.
After the celebration of the new year in Koso, the World Festival in Shango continues. All the programming can be found exclusively in Ifá Tradicional Pro and Ojú Odù. Users of the application will also be able to enjoy exclusive images and videos of the New Year celebration for followers of Shango.