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The Yoruba calendar (Kojoda) year starts from 3 June to 2 June of the following year. According to this calendar, the Gregorian year 2008 A. D. is the 10050th year of Yoruba culture. To reconcile with the Gregorian calendar, Yoruba people also measure time in seven days a week and four weeks a month. The days are: Ojo-Aiku (Sunday), Oko-Aje (Monday), Ojo-Ishegun (Tuesday), Ojo-Riru (Wednesday), Ojo-Bo/Alamisi (Thursday), Ojo-Eti (Friday) and Ojo-Abameta (Saturday).

Time is measured in isheju (minutes), wakati (hours), ojo (days), ose (weeks), oshu (months) and odun (years). There are 60 (ogota) isheju in 1 (ikan) wakati; 24 (merinlelogun) wakati in 1 ojo; 4 (merin) ojo in 1 ose; 7 (meje) ose in 1 oshu and 93 (metaleladorun)ose in 1 odun. There are 12 oshu in 1 odun.

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Calendar Terminologies

Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu, the London-baesd Muslim scholar claims in his Arabic-English Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Quran and Sunnah that Islam has played a major role in enriching African languages through the Arab traders whose communication skills helped the people in the continent to develop technical and cultural augmentations in their Languages, poinitng at Ki-Swahili and Af-Somaali in East Africa and Turanci Hausa and Fula-Nyami in West Africa as the most evident.[1] Nigeria-born Sheikh Adelabu, a Ph D graduate from Damascus cited among commonly Arabic words used in Yoruba Language names of the days such as Atalata (Ar. Ath-Thulatha الثلاثاء) for Tuesday, Alaruba (Ar. Al-Arbi'a الأربعاء) for Wednesday, Alamisi (Ar. Al-Khamis الخميس) for Thursday, and Jimoh (Ar. Al-Jum'ah الجمعة) for Friday. By far Ojo Jimoh is the most favourably used. It's usually preferred to Yoruba unpleasant word for Friday Eti, which means Failure, Laziness or Abandonment.[2]

Sheikh Dr. Adelabu used assertions like these in his works such as Islam in Africa - West African in Particular, and Missionary and Colonization in Africa.[3] to argue that Islam had reached Sub-Sahara Africa, including the Yoruba Lands in West Africa, as early as the first century of Hijrah through Muslim traders and expeditions during the reign of the Arab conquror, Uqba ibn al Nafia (622–683) whose Islamic conquests under the Umayyad dynasty, in Amir Muavia and Yazid periods, spread all Northern Africa or the Maghrib Al-Arabi, including present-day Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco.

The Yoruba calendar (Kojoda) year starts from 3 June to 2 June of the following year.[4] According to this calendar, the Gregorian year 2008 A. D. is the 10050th year of Yoruba culture.[5] To reconcile with the Gregorian calendar, Yoruba people also measure time in seven days a week and four weeks a month:

Modified days in Yoruba calendar Days in Gregorian calendar
Ojo-Aiku Sunday
Ojo-Aje Monday
Ojo-Ishegun/Atalata Tuesday
Ojo-'Ru/Alaruba Wednesday
Ojo-Bo/Alamisi Thursday
Ojo-Eti/Jimoh Friday
Ojo-Abameta Saturday[6]

The days are: Ojo-Orunmila/Ifa, Ojo-Shango/Jakuta, Ojo-Ogun, and Ojo-Obatala. The months are: Sere (January), Erele (February), Erena (March), Igbe (April), Ebibi (May), Okudu (June), Agemo (July). Ogun (August), Owere(Owewe) (September), Owara(Owawa) (October), Belu (November), and Ope (December).

Months

Sere/ January

Erele / February

Olokún = Oríṣà of Okún, the deep seas or oceans, patron of sailors, and guardian of souls lost at sea. Erele/Feb 21-25

Èrèna / March

Annual rites of passage for men Èrèna/March 12 – 28

Oduduwa (odudu, the dark pigment; ni ewa, is the beauty) / Iyaagbe (iya, mother; agbe, who receives) = Oríṣà of Earth and matron of the Ayé. Oduduwa endows the ebony dark skin pigment that accords greatest gifts of spirituality, beauty and intellect to the bearer. The essence of procreative love. Èrèna/March 15 – 19

Oshosi = Oríṣà of Adventure and the hunt Èrèna/March 21 – 24:

Igbe / April

Ogun = Oríṣà of the metal and war crafts, and engineering. The custodian of truth and executioner of justice, as such patron of the legal and counselling professions who must swear to uphold truth while biting on a piece of metal.

Oshun = Oríṣà of Fertility and custodian of the female essence. who guides pregnancies to term. Igbe starts last Saturday of April, for 5 days-

Onset of wet season (Spring)

Ebibi / May

Egungun (Commemoration of the Ancestors, including community founders and illustrious dead. Èbíbí: starts last Saturday of May, for 7 days

Okudu / June

  • Okudu 03: Onset of the Yoruba New Year (2008 is the 10,050th year of Yoruba culture)
  • Okudu 7 - 8: Shopona (Oríṣà of Disease, shopona, small pox is a viral disease) and Osanyin (Oríṣà of Medicine and patron of the healing professions: osan, afternoon; yin, healing)
  • Okudu 18 - 21: Yemoja = matriarch of the Òrún-Rere). Oduduwa gave birth to a boy Aganju (Land) and Yemoja (Water) from marriage to Ọbàtala. Yemoja in turn birthed many other Oríṣà. The old Ile-Ife kingdom arose on her burial site.

Agẹmo / July

Ọrúnmilà / Ifá = Oríṣà of Divination and founder of the Ifá sciences, whose divination is with 16 palm nuts. Mass gathering of the yoruba Agẹmo: first and second weeks in July

Oko (Agriculture) Harvesting of the new Yam crop.

Ẹlégba-Bara (Ẹlégba, one who has power to seize) / Eṣu (shu, to release eject from; ara, the body) = Oríṣà of male essence and Power, who is the great Communicator and messenger of the will of Olódùmarè. No woman should bara (ba ra, to rub with, have intercourse with) a man who has not done Ikola (circumcision: ike, cutting; ola, that saves) in sacrifice to Ẹlégba. Agẹmo second weekend of July

Ṣàngo (shan, to strike:/ Jakuta:ja, fight; pẹlu okuta, with stones). The Oríṣà of Energy – Ara (Thunder) and Manamana, make fire (Lightning) whose divination is with 16 cowries and whose messenger and water-bearer is Oshumare (the Rainbow). Agẹmo: third week of July

Ogun / August

Ọbàtálá = (Obà,to possess; ti ala, of visions or Oríṣà-nla, the principal Oríṣà). Patriarch of Òrún-Rere, the heaven of goodly spirits and beneficial ancestors. As Olódùmarè is too powerful and busy to be pre-occupied by the affairs of any one living being. Ọbàtálá functions as the principal emissary of Olódùmarè on Aye, and is the custodian of Yoruba culture. The aso-ala (white cloth) worn by Ọbàtálá initiates is to signify need to be pure in intent and action: A recurring punishment for social misfits was to try to keep white cloth clean in Africa's tropical and dusty climate. The misappropriation of aso-ala connection to Ọbàtálá was/is a major weapon against the Yoruba in their psychological resistance of foreign invasion, as Christian and Islamic converts were/are indoctrinated that anything considered 'white' is pure: a notion that has also become a key tenet of racialist supremacy Ogun: last weekend of August

Òwéré / September

Ọwara / October

Oya (Orísà of the odo Oya (river Niger) whose messenger is Afefe (the Wind), and guardian of gateway between the physical realm (Aye) and the spiritual realm (Òrún). Ọwaro

Osun (Orísà of the odo Oṣun and patron of the (sovereign) Ijebu nation Ọwaro third weekend of October

Onset of the dry season (Autumn)

Shigidi (Orísà of Òrún-Apadi, the realm of the unsettled spirits and the ghosts of the dead that have left Aye and are forsaken of Òrún-Rere. Custodian of nightmares and patron of assassins. Solemn candlelight to guide the unsettled away from your residence, else they settle in your dolls or other toys. Ọwaro 30 World Slavery Day?

Bèlu / November

Òpé / December

Obajulaiye (Oríṣà of Ṣòwò (Commerce) and owo (wealth). Òpé 15

Onset of the second dry season (winter solstice)

References

  1. ^ Esinislam.com
  2. ^ A lecture by Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu of Awqaf Africa London titled: The History Of Islam in 'The Black History' at esinislam.com
  3. ^ Works of Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu at Awqaf Africa Damascus titled: Islam in Africa - West African in Particular, and Missionary and Colonization in Africa see esinislam.com
  4. ^ Yourtemple.net
  5. ^ Yourtemple.net
  6. ^ Yourtemple.net

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