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It is a huge part of the Yoruba ‘Orisha’ tradition. It brings in several foreigners who associate with the culture of worshipping animist spirits. One reason this isn’t just some African traditional religious affair is that it involves the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the sacred Osun-Osogbo Grove. If you have ever wondered how to prepare to attend this festival as a tourist, we have compiled a few noteworthy tips. Such as
- Wear Flats – If you intend to take part in the festival beyond being a mere spectator, then wear flats. There is a three-hour walk from the priestess’ shrine to the sacred grove with the virgin, ‘Arugba’. You need to be physically fit and ready for the procession to the sacred river in the grove. Also, there will be singing and dancing throughout the period of the festival. Wearing flats will allow you to dance along comfortably during the festival.
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- Buy Souvenir – There are traders on the ground to sell beads of decorative and religious value. Someone could bead necklaces or bracelets of coral, ivory or a mesh of colours for sale. Patronize them. See it as a souvenir you are taking back with you from the occasion. It is the fastest way to inject funds into the community directly.
- Carry Your Camera – Nigeria festivals are a feast for the eyes. You need a camera (still or motion) to capture the moments. There is a lot to memorialize from the Eyo festival masquerades, the Iboriade, and lamp-lighting ceremony on the streets of Osogbo to the Arugba, the sacred grove and the cleansing by the river.
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