An Irreechaa Renaissance
After such a cold winter, one could only delight at the sight of daisy blossoms. They are right on time. The Oromian Irreechaa Festival is running this year from September 05, 2010 through October 3, 2010. This festival is a spectacular show of cultural, historical and natural beautification in their full glory at the height of the season. It has spawned somewhat of a science of knowing just when the blooms will peak and decline, depending on the wind, rain, and sunshine they get.
Now it is the beginning of 2010 Irreechaa celebrations, the premier holiday of the Oromo people; it marks the end of the dark, rainy season, and the beginning of a blossom harvest season of Birraa. It is in Oromo tradition to gather at the river banks, mountain tops and lake shores to give thanks to the almighty Waaqaa for all the blessings throughout past years and ask for Araaraa (Reconciliation), Nagaa (Peace), Walooma (Harmony) and Finnaa (Holistic Development) for the past, the present and the future.
Five Weeks of Festivities
The Oromo Irreechaa Holiday will offer five weeks of festivities for local and international participants alike. From opening week on Sunday, September 5, 2010 until the closing ceremonies on Sunday, October 3, 2010, weekend days will be filled with different shows and activities, including blessing ceremonies for offspring and girls, youth dances and music, media orientations, public awareness meetings, andIrreechaa celebrations.
The grandest ceremony is Irreechaa, the perennial holiday of the Irreechaa at Hora Harsadii, Bishooftuu, Oromia. This popular enlightening event has been honored extensively by different local and international media and summarized as the “Great Cultural, Historical and Natural Harmony Show to See Before You Die”, and recognized as “the Best Springtime Festival in Oromia.”
One of the highlights of the event is the Awareness Creation Meeting – from the beginning of September to the day of Irreechaa through various methods, such as meeting, singing, and firewood ceremony. The day of the Irreechaa begins as the colorfully dressed attendees start to assemble holding Irreessaa (fresh, green grass) and Keelloo (daisy) blossom. Once a sizable number of people are gathered at a common location, a cheerful group of young people take the lead by enthusiastically singing traditional songs and hymns in turns. After a spectacular and heart-warming cultural display by the energetic youth, organizers announce that it is time to head to Malkaa (the ford) orHoraa (spring water), Tulluu (mountain), where the Irreechaa will be held. Then, the elders and spiritual leaders take over to wrap up the sacred aspects of Irreechaa celebration with praises, prayers, and blessings. Visitors enjoy walking together under a sycamore (Odaa) tree and pray for greater reconciliation, peace, finnaa (holistic development), and harmony.
The Oromo lrreechaa holiday provides a multitude of amazing creations to explore, as talented artists create in their favorite medium – the cultural dress! Don’t forget your camera to capture these fragile, fascinating works of art before they melt away forever.
Ongoing events include:
Ibidda Ijoollee – Offspring Blessing show
Ingiccaa Buqqisaa – Girls Blessing show
Sirba Dargaggootaa – Youth Blessing and Dancing show
Korma Gubaa – Elders’ Blessing and rituals
Irreechaa Holiday – Thanksgiving Day
Irreechaa Harmony Schedule
Here’s the representative schedule:
Sunday, September 5
7pm – Offspring Blessing show
Opening day of the Irreechaa will start by Ibidda Ijoollee – Offspring Blessing Event
Sunday, September 12
7am – Girls Blessing Show
The Ingiccaa Buqqisaa – Girls Blessing Event
Sunday, September 19
8pm – Media Orientation
7pm – Sirba Dargaggootaa – Youth Dance Party
Sunday, September 26
3pm – Public Awareness Making Meeting
7pm – Korma Gubaa – Elders’ Blessing and wisdom Party
Sunday, October 03
11am – Irreechaa celebration
2pm – Irreechaa Ceremony – wear Oromo cultural dress to be a role model at the scene!
8pm – Marqaa Okolee
9pm – Sirbaa fi Weedduu – Dance Party
Then and Now
After many years of unseen events, the first national Irreechaa Festival was held in 1991 and later became an annual event, which now runs for five weeks, and is one of the most pleasant reminders in Oromia that spring has definitely sprung! What a wonderful time we will have on cooler than typical spring days in 2010 enjoying all that the Irreechaa Festival presents.
CORA, the Committee for Oromummaa Renaissance and Advancement, thanks the thousands of volunteers who have been planting the seeds and nourishing the vision for Oromummaa Renaissance and Advancement. “This has been many years of blossoming, many years of teamwork, many years of selfless dedication, many years of making a difference,” said CORA in its statement. CORA advocates theOromummaa Renaissance and Advancement; “at this rate, can you imagine what we will all accomplish in the next few years?”
This digging was done just because we wanted to know more about the Oromian Irreechaa Festival, and now you know, too. Once again CORA would like to thank all great forefathers for their endurance and determination to survive their culture and history paving the way for further societal victory. As Oromo’s new generation, we can still overcome our multifaceted obstacles as fast as we hold our glories history and culture – Oromummaa – as a master identity under the Odaa tree to ensure the survival of our culture and history. A day when Odaaas a symbol of Oromcracy, a symbol suppressed for a century, coming into view is not far. As our freedom fighters say, for the peace and harmony to truly turn to Oromia, our stolen natural rights must be respected.