CONSIDERED to be the largest street carnival cultural of African Americans in entire United States, the 2923 edition of Odunde Festival holds June 11, in Philadelphia.
A celebration of Yoruba cultural and heritage essences, the carnival is a procession covering over 15 city blocks with an estimated 500K attendees.
This year’s festivities kicks off at 23rd Street and South Street, Philadelphia.
About the carnival, the popular group, The Yoruba Nations CH, writes on its verified Twitter page, @yorubanationsCH:
“Odunde means ‘Coming of the New Year‘. It is derived from the traditions of the Yoruba people of West Africa in celebration of the new year according to the traditional Yoruba calendar or Kọ́jọ́dá, which usually falls on the first moon of June (Òkudù) on the Gregorian calendar, and holds Annually in the city of Philadelphia. The festival logo is an Àkẹtè (fìlà) Abetí ajá on a stylized face with three Yoruba marks on each cheek.
“The Odunde festival started in Philadelphia in 1975. Lois Fernandez and her friend Ruth Arthur organized the first Odunde Festival. It took place in April 1975, as the “Oshun Festival”. This was because Fernandez was motivated to start the series of events that would later morph into the Odunde festival after a spiritual pilgrimage to the Osun-Osogbo festival of the Yoruba people. Today, Osun remains a major component of the festivities, which begins with an all inclusive procession leading to the Schuylkill River where fruits and flowers are offered.
“Once again, HAPPY NEW YEAR 10,065 To all Yoruba people and lovers of Yoruba culture Worldwide. Ọdún á yabo o!”