IN preparation for the annual Olojo Festival, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, will commence the activities to mark the beginning of the festival by going incommunicado with the spirits today Monday, 12th day of October 2009.
The week-long seclusion signaled the beginning of the festival, which is in the honour of Ogun (god of Iron) and the supreme being for his blessings over the people.
The Gbajure aspect of the festival by the women folk of Iredunmi compound will also be observed during this week.
During the five day incommunicado with the gods, Oba Okunade Sijuwade will neither attend to visitors nor go out of the palace, while rituals and other rites to the gods will feature prominently during the seclusion days.
Olojo festival which could be described as the festival of gods in the ancient town commenced since the 12th century, though the worship of Ogun, god of iron had always been given prominence, but worship of different deities was always given prominence.
The wearing of Aare beaded crown, the original crown believed to have been worn by Oduduwa, which could only be worn once in a year, will also be observed by Ooni.
The Ilagun will preceed the procession of the blacks who believes that Ile-ife is their ancestral home to Oke Mogun.
The first Oke Mogun, that is this coming Friday will witness the presence of Ade Aare, which will be worn by the monarch as he will lead the Yorubas to Oke Mogun where prayers will be offered for the peace, progress and the tranquility of the Yoruba nation and the country at large.
After which Ooni will proceed to Idi-Aje shrine located at Oja Ife to offer prayer for the economic growth of the town.
The Saturdays and Sunday will be for the entertainment of guests.
While the second Oke Mogun will be on Monday, just like previous Oke Mogun, Ooni will visit Ogun shrine located few metres away from the palace without Aare crown, after offer of prayer, he will proceed to his family house at Ilare quarter to offer prayer to hi s household and later recedes to his palace.
A visit to the palace, reveals that plans were in top gear to mark this year Olojo festival.
By SOLA JACOBS