Once upon a time, a group of migrating people were led by a great hunter called Olutimehin. They settled at the bank of Osun river, to save themselves from famine. At the riverside, Osun the goddess appeared to Olutimehin, requesting him to lead the people to a special place (present Osogbo town). The goddess promised to protect and bring them prosperity in return for an annual sacrifice to her. The Osun Osogbo festival has been celebrated for over 700 years.
Osun Oshogbo festival has a two week programme of events starting with the traditional cleansing of the town called “Iwopopo” followed by the lighting of 500 years old sixteen points lamp three days later, called “Olojomerindinlogun.” This is followed by “Ibroriade,” which is the assemblage of the crowns of the past ruler (Ataojas) for blessings and its being led by the Ataoja who is the ruler and votary maid (Arugba) propelled by Yeye Osun, and a committee of priestesses.
The Arugba bore the people age-long prayers to the grove in a calabash of effigy which can only be carried by a virgin, which signifies purity.
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