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Vodun Holidays and Orisha Birthdays

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This is a list of Vodun holidays.  It is by no means complete.  These are just the ones I know of and have gathered from a variety of people and sources.  Different cultures have different days.  Some synchronize them with Wiccan or Catholic holidays.  Follow your own soul on this.

January 10: “Voodoo Day”, or Traditions Day, which is celebrated in Benin and by some in the diaspora to give thanks for and remember our African heritage and spirituality.

January 17: Yoruba Feast of Ogun

February 2: Feast of Oya
Video

Sometime in February or March: The Festival of Obatala and Oshun

March 19: Feast of Osayin

March 25: Feast of Oshun

April 23: Santeria feast of Ogun

May 25: Feast of Ochossi (If hosting an event, you must have a dance on this day.)

June 16: Anniversary of the death of Marie Laveau, the most famous New Orleans Voudou priestess in U.S. history

June 21: Feast of Babalu Aye

June 29: Feast of Eleggua (This is an excellent day to do readings, so if you’re hosting, have an area just for this where people can have some privacy.)

Friday closest to August 15: Festa de Boa Morte (Festival of the Good Death) in Bahia Brazil.

Last Friday of August: Feast of Oshun in Oshogbo, the town in Nigeria whose official Orisha is Oshun.  Yes, you can get tickets.  Call your travel agent. Videos of the Festival of Oshun.

September 8: Feast of Oshun

September 10: Birthday of Marie Laveau

September 24: Feast of Obatala

September 29: Feast of Eleggua, also Initiation Day

September 30: Feast of Shango (Must serve some spicy foods on this day, and if you can drink but don’t get too drunk.  It’s also a good day for sparring, demos, and/or wrestling matches.)

October 4: Feast of Orunmila

October 24: Feast of Erinle

November 1-2: Day of the Dead – Synchronized with the Catholic All Saints’ Day, it’s a day when the ancestors are honored.  Different cultures have different ways of doing it, but generally, food offerings are given to the dead. 
Day of the Dead in Haiti

November 25: Feast of Oya

December 4: Feast of Shango

December 17: Feast of Babalu Aye

December 31: Feast of Yemaya

Orisha Days of the Week

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Though any day is a good day to stay in touch with any Orisha, certain days have a special mood to them, and these affect the way we reach out.  It also helps to remember all of the Orishas you know of, if you have a schedule for daily observances.  Then there are the tried and true traditions of elders in Africa and the diaspora.  Over hundreds or thousands of years, the way they practice has stood the test of time in keeping people mindful and getting things done.

Different regions and sects have different days of the week they consider most auspicious.  If your culture has a different schedule, you should adhere to that unless it feels wrong to you or an Orisha has instructed you to change the day for your own practice.  Some cultures also have a monthly schedule or lunar schedule.

Here’s the basic 7 day weekly schedule that we keep in Ile Baalat Teva in Israel.

Sunday: Obatala, Orunmila

Monday: Papa Legba, Elegua, Eshu, Exu

Tuesday: Ogun

Wednesday: Ogun, Babalu-Aye

Thursday: Oldumare, Olofin, Olorun, Holy Spirit, Obatala, Jesus, Orunmila, Ifa, Orula

Friday: Shango, Babalu-Aye, Oba, Oya

Saturday: Yemaya, Oshun

As it is for Jews, for Vodun practitioners as well, the day begins at sundown.  So Monday, for instance, begins on Sunday night.  Also, there are many more Orishas than listed here.  Much knowledge has been lost, but some elders still remember.  If you do, please feel free to leave a comment, ask an elder, and follow your soul.

The original Yoruba calendar was lunar, and had a four day week.  The month begins on the new moon, and is counted from there.

For those who are okay with a solar calendar, we have a convenient Vodun Calendar that you can subscribe to in Google Calendar.  If you set it to do so, Google calendar will even send you reminders before events.

Sheloya's Altar February 2016

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