Fires, Thunders As 2015 Sango Festival Enters Grand Finale In Oyo (Photos)
Tourists from over 42 countries are expected to grace the grand finale of the 2015 World Sango Festival taking place at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, today, August 29, 2015.
This is the third edition of the re-branded festival; the first was held in August 2013.
The Sango festival has been in existence for many centuries where the tradition and heritage of the old Oyo Empire is being celebrated.
The culture amba$$ador to the Alaafin of Oyo, Dr. Paula Gomes told Naij.com that the festival is not only a carnival but also a preservation of the rich heritage of culture and tradition of the Oyo people.
She wondered why Nigerians are very negative about their own culture and tradition while embracing foreign cultures, noting that Nigerians must love their own heritage and tradition.
Gomes, a Portuguese who has been living in the palace for the past five years, said: “Sango is known in over 42 countries in the world such as Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, America, Trinidad and Tobago and so on. Already, Brazil has recognised Sango as their heritage. Oyo is the origin. So, they have to preserve the origin and heritage in Oyo; otherwise, tomorrow you have to go and see your culture outside the country.”
This year’s festival was flagged off on Thursday, August 20 and would be concluded today, August 29th and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi III is the chief host.
The consultant to the World Sango Festival, Oyewale Oyetunde, explained to Naij.com that the essence of the festival is to reconnect and foster the relationship between the teeming population of the Yoruba origin in the diaspora, celebrate the greatest hero of significance of Yoruba race, appreciate the cultural heritage of Oyo and celebrate the rich cultural values of Yoruba such as dance, drumming, food, fashion and the indigenous knowledge.
A breakdown of the 10-day festival showed that on day one, hosted the grand opening ceremony, the traditional ayo competition, Ogun Ajobo Day and the Sango Koso traditional night rites.
The second to the eight days of the festival featured Ogun day, Ekiti day, Oyo day, Aje Oloja day, Ondo day, Osun day, Lagos and Kwara day in that order where cultural troupes from each state gave a good account of themselves.
The grand finale of festival is today where the Elegun Sango Koso, head of all Sangos would perform the symbolic fire, thunder and rain that signify the Sango heritage.
Today will be his first and last public appearance for the year and as custom dictates. Meanwhile, the Alaafin must not see Sango Koso as it is a taboo.
Sango, the Yoruba god of thunder, is a deity highly revered by the Yoruba nation. The festival was organised to celebrate Alaafin Sango. The third Alaafin of Oyo, who was said to have reigned around 1077AD, had supernatural powers and retained the energy from thunder.