African Spirituality and Tradition

Festivals Celebrated In Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago are one of the most diverse places on the planet. It is a Caribbean country that is known for its partying scene. The locals enjoy every moment in life. It is due to this fact a ton of festivals is celebrated every year. People of all religions consider Trinidad and Tobago their home. No event passes without huge festivals being held in their honor. There are thirteen public holidays in this spectacular country that has some of the best beaches in the region.

The public holidays embody the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country. They acknowledge Muslims, Hindus, Roman Catholics, and other religions. There is a public debate every year regarding a public holiday to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Carnival is held every year and is treated as a public holiday even though it is not recognized as such. This post provides a break-up of the festivals celebrated in this Caribbean country as below.

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The Sacred Twins – Ibeji 

Ibeji is also known as Ibelli, Ibryi, Meji, Melli, and Jimaguas. They are twins but the Ibeji are identified as one Orisha. ‘Ibi’ accurately means born and ‘eji’ means two. Twins are considered to be very sacred among the people of Yoruba. They have the highest rate of twin births, about 5% whereas the rest of the world has a twin-birth percentage of 0.5%. The Ibeji and all twins of this world are considered to have one soul in two bodies. The Ibeji are believed to be the original twins born on this earth and are said to be the orishas of joy, glee, and mischief. The Gemini twins in astrology are also said to be related directly to the Ibeji. The Ibejis parents are, namely, Chango and Oshun. Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

Ochosi – The Hunter

Ochosi, also known and spelled as Oxosi, Oshosi, is a great and stealthy hunter who lives in the woods. He is not only known for his excellent hunting skills, but he is also a fisherman, a warrior with excellent arrow skills, a seer with shamanistic powers and a magician. Ochosi is also the lord of justice and the defender/patron of those who has misdoings with the law.

Given an Undertaking

Ochosi, during his time, was only a huntsman who became an Orisha. According to a sacred story, also known as a Pataki, Ochosi was once given a task by Elegua. He was asked to hunt a rare bird for Orula who wanted to gift the bird to Olofi. Since Ochosi was a skilled hunter and had no problems finding his prey, he agreed and caught the rare bird in a matter of minutes. He caged it and brought it back home. Immediately he informed Orula that he had caught the bird. As Ochosi went out, his mother came home to find the bird in a cage and thought that Ochosi had caught it for dinner. She killed the bird and dressed it. She then went out to the local market to buy some condiments to cook it with. Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

Ogun: The Orisha of Iron

Ogun is known to be a very powerful warrior who has creativity and intelligence when it comes to making new tools. He protects his people from injustice. He is known as the father of civilization because if it were not for his creative tools, the earth would be full of the wilderness. If it were not for his strength, the path from heaven to earth would never have been cleared for the Orishas and humanity to thrive on earth. Ogun’s tools were the tools which helped create new buildings and cities. Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

Voodoo Day

Voodoo Day or Fête du Vodoun is a ceremony or festival performed in the city of Ouidah in Benin. It is often misunderstood as Voodoo religion practice. The festival itself is not a religion or religious practice! This traditional day is often celebrated as a public holiday in Benin to celebrate the rich culture and history surrounding West Africa’s religion called Vodoun. Vodoun and voodoo practices were thought to be illegal. However, the ban was officially lifted and Vodoun was officially recognized as a religion in West Africa during 1996. Throughout the country, the celebration of the Voodoo day festival starts on the 10th of January. This festival is filled with singing and dancing and the drinking of lots of liquor. Gin is the most preferred liquor. The festival, however, begins by slaughtering a goat or a ram to please the spirits. Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest