The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade will soon go into absolute seclusion for five days according to the dictates of tradition, as the 2012 edition of the annual Olojo festival starts in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
The Ooni, described as the chief celebrant of the age-long traditional festival, according to a press release issued to announce the commencement of the festival yesterday, has approved that it runs from Monday, 22 October to Monday, 29 October.
The release, signed by the Festival Coordinator and Public Relations Manager, Royal Court of Ife, Funmilola Olorunnisola, explained that the social segment of the festival would begin on Monday with “Gbagure and town storming, while the core traditional event begins with ‘Ilagun’ on Friday, and the grand finale, when the
Ooni wears the sacred ‘Aare’ crown, is expected to hold on Saturday, 27 October.”
Olorunnisola said the festival would end with the monarch leading the town’s people to pray at Okemogun “for the second time,” adding that he would visit the ruling house at Ilara quarters and a number of other places of interest in Ile-Ife.
“On that Monday, 29 October, the Ooni shall go into absolute seclution for five days, when Oba Sijuwade is strictly forbidden from eating, drinking and interacting with mortals. There shall be no wives, children and servants in sight. For five days, he will be communing with the spirits of the forefathers.
“The period, according to tradition, is to enable him to muster spiritual strength required to wear the crown, which is believed to be very heavy,” he added.