Lagos Grants a Day Off to Honor Yoruba Heritage on August 21

Delve into Lagos’ 2023 Isese Day celebrations, exploring the significance, rituals, and the state’s commitment to its Yoruba heritage.

A Day Off to Celebrate Yoruba Heritage

On Monday, August 21, 2023, a unique wave of celebration will envelop Lagos as the state government has announced a work-free day for all its public servants.

The purpose? Commemorating this year’s Isese Day, a vibrant reflection of the state’s dedication to its indigenous Yoruba roots.

Isese Day: An Ode to Yoruba Traditions

For those unfamiliar, Isese Day stands as a beacon of pride in Lagos.

An annual event dedicated to celebrating and honoring the indigenous Yoruba culture and traditions, Isese Day goes beyond being a mere holiday.

It serves as evidence of preserving and continuing the lively Yoruba heritage.

Official Communication and Its Implications

The news broke through a circular dispatched by the Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola.

Within this document, he highlighted that the grand Isese Day celebration is slated for Sunday, August 20, 2023.

A precursor to the public holiday that follows.

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Commitment

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s declaration of a Work Free Day signifies more than just a day off.It reaffirms his dedication to supporting traditional institutions in the state.

He expressed that it’s about “promoting our native culture and tradition while safeguarding our heritage.”

All state workers should mark their calendars, as the official resumption time post-celebration is 8 am on Tuesday, August 22.

What Does This Mean for the Public?

In a neighboring development, the Oyo State Government recently marked Monday as a maiden public holiday to rejoice in Isese Day.

The choice arises from the Oyo State House of Assembly’s resolution designating August 20 for Isese Day festivities.

Governor Makinde took this opportunity to call upon traditional worshippers in the state. His message?

Seize this chance to revive unity, peace, and stability in both the state and the whole nation.

Isese – More Than Just a Word

“Isese,” rooted in the Yoruba language, translates to “tradition”.

It covers various festivals, witnessed not just in Nigeria but also in countries like Cuba, Brazil, the United States, Benin, and beyond.

Diving Deeper into Isese Day

Celebrated across Nigerian states like Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Kwara, Edo, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti, and Kogi.

Osun marks it every year on August 20, allowing traditional worshipers to honor their deities.

Isese Day is under the Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council.

Ceremonies feature prayer, dance, and sacrifices – be it at the river for Osun or shrines for Oro.

White, red, and black are the dominant colors of the festival attire, symbolizing purity, passion, and power.

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What is Isese Day?

Isese Day is an annual celebration in Lagos and other Nigerian states to honor the indigenous Yoruba culture and traditions.

When is the Isese Day celebration in 2023?

The main celebration is on Sunday, August 20, 2023, followed by a public holiday on August 21.

What activities are common during Isese Day?

Prayer, dance, sacrifices, and communal gatherings are prevalent.

Is Isese Day celebrated outside Nigeria?

Yes, countries with Yoruba cultural influences, like Cuba, Brazil, the USA, and Benin, have similar festivities.

Why is the color white significant in Isese celebrations?

White, among other colors, signifies purity and is a dominant color in festival attire.

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