Monthly Archives: September 2016

Irreechaa 2016: A Year of Sacrifice

(Advocacy for Oromia)-It is with great pleasure that to invite you to the annual Irreecha Birraa festival, Oromo National Thanksgiving day, of the year on Sunday 2 October 2016.

14440855_1012083622242098_3525717134028063329_n

Irreechaa Birraa is a celebration that repeats once in a year-in birraa and involves special activities or amusements as it has a lot of importance in our lives. It symbolizes the arrival of spring and brighten season with their vibrant green and daisy flowers.

It’s a day all Oromian’s celebrate and cherish due to our ties to our root: Oromo Identity and country. It’s a time for reflection, celebration and a good connection with our best heritage.

Theme: A Year of Sacrifice

This year’s Oromian Irreechaa Festival is going to be bigger and better than ever, with a whole theme park devoted to diverse Oromian cultural Identity. The theme of this national Thanksgiving Day is “A Year of Sacrifice ” in which it aims to celebrate Irreechaa festivals as a medium for bringing all Oromias together to remember those who are paying sacrifice for Oromo freedom and to promote our tradition and religion in society, to create public awareness where Oromo cultural and religious issues will be discussed, to provide a better understanding of Oromo culture and history, to pave the way for promotion of the Oromo culture, history and lifestyle and to celebrate Oromo Irreechaa, a national Thanksgiving Day.

Irreechaa: a moment of performing home in exile

According to Tsegaye Ararssa, Irreechaa means a moment of performing home in exile. “For the Oromo Diaspora the Irreechaa moment is a moment of performing home in exile. It is a longing for home. As such, it’s a site of struggle, a site of the agon, a site of imagining home. it is a way of homecoming. It’s a way of becoming what we would have been. Irreechaa is a moment of re-enacting life in its fullness, in all its colors and brilliance, and in its infinite beauty as a treasure. It is a celebration of vitality and life in the past, the present, and the future. Above all, it’s thanksgiving. Even in the midst of the festivity, it is a moment of thinking (thinking as thanking), and a reminder of the need for a grateful reflection as a way of life.”
https://advocacy4oromia.org/…/what-does-irreechaa-mean-to-…/

Background

Irreechaa also called Irreessa, is Thanksgiving holiday of the Oromo people in  Oromia, east Africa The Oromo people celebrate Irreechaa to thank Waaqaa (God) for the blessings and mercies they have received throughout the previous year. The thanksgiving is celebrated at the sacred grounds of Hora Harsadi (Lake Harsadi), Bishoftu, Oromia. The Irreechaa festival is celebrated every year at the beginning of Birraa (the sunny new season after the dark, rainy winter season). Irrecha is celebrated throughout Oromia and around the world where diaspora Oromos live especially North America and Europe.

The Oromo people consider the winter rainy season of June to September as the time of difficulty. The heavy rain brings with it lots of things like swelling rivers and floods that may drown people, cattle, crop, and flood homes. Also, family relationship will severe during winter rain as they can’t visit each other because of swelling rivers. In addition, winter time could be a time of hunger for some because of the fact that previous harvest collected in January is running short and new harvest is not ripe yet. Because of this, some families may endure food shortages during the winter. In Birra (the season after winter in Oromoland), this shortage ends as many food crops especially maize is ripe and families can eat their fill. Other crops like potato, barley, etc. will also be ripe in Birra. Some disease types like malaria also break out during rainy winter time. Because of this, the Oromos see winter as a difficult season. However, that does not mean the Oromo people hate rain or winter season at all. Even when there is shortage of rain, they pray to Waaqaa (God) for rain.

The Oromo people celebrate Irreechaa not only to thank Waaqaa (God) but also to welcome the new season of plentiful harvests after the dark and rainy winter season associated with nature and creature. On Irreechaa festivals, friends, family, and relatives gather together and celebrate with joy and happiness. Irreechaa festivals bring people closer to each other and make social bonds.

Moreover, the Oromo people celebrate this auspicious event to mark the end of rainy season, known as Ganna, was established by Oromo forefathers, in the time of Gadaa Melbaa in Mormor, Oromia. The auspicious day on which this last Mormor Day of Gadaa Belbaa – the Dark Time of starvation and hunger- was established on the 1st Sunday of last week of September or the 1st Sunday of the 1st week of October according to the Gadaa lunar calendar has been designated as National Thanksgiving Day by modern-day Oromo people.

The event and its celebration is a symbol of unity in which various organisations and groups come together not only to celebrate but also to initiate and to work together as a team.

Irreechaa –Thanksgiving, forgiving and forward looking expression day for Oromo.

Oromo activist wants the world to “hear the cries” of her people

                             by Taylor Gantt | Sep 22, 2016

Weeks after winning a silver medal at the Rio games, Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa’s Olympic story is far from over.

His gesture at the finish line and the medal podium sparked a worldwide reaction. In crossing his arms and raised them skyward, he mirrored a gesture used by young Oromos in peaceful protest against the violent persecution of the Ethiopian government.

Images of the runner’s political gesture flooded the Internet. The social media hashtag #OromoProtest has pushed the issue further and brought more attention to the concerns of the Oromo people.

Oromo activist wants the world to “hear the cries” of her people

Source: Oromo activist wants the world to “hear the cries” of her people

Dhibaayyuu Cultural Festival Held for Abundance and Protection

(Advocacy4Oromia, 22 September 2016) Dhibaayyuu Cultural Festival held at Bururi Uran, Sololo Marsabit County 2016.

The Dhibaayyuu is an annual ceremony that showcases and define the cultural identity and indigenous believe systems of the Borana, one of the two moieties of Oromo people.

According Eddy Ochieng this ceremony is held after the long rains as a thanksgiving for the abundance and also for prayers to protect them from any calamities in the future.

This ceremony is done at Bururi Uran, in Sololo, Marsabit County.

The Borana are one of a peace loving moieties of Oromo nation that living in southern Oromia and northern Kenya in parts of Isiolo, Marsabit, and Moyale.