Editor’s Note: Traditionally, Oromos hold two seasonal Irreecha festivals; one is held at the end of September (or beginning of October) at the start of the sunny season and the end of the rainy season (i.e. during the harvest season, thus ‘Thanksgiving’ festival). This seasonal Irreecha is most known to Oromos and friends of the Oromo throughout the world. The other Irreecha festival is held on the onset of the rainy season (i.e. during the sowing season). The sowing season’s Irreecha celebration is held to pray to Waaqaa to bring about Good Spirit with rain and efforts; after all, farmers spread their seeds on the ground with the only assurance that Waaqaa is on their side to turn the seeds into bountiful crops at the end of the rainy season. Such cyclical life is evident everywhere, not only farming. We thank the Melbourne Oromo Community for restoring the cyclical wisdom our forebears embedded in Irreecha; thus far, we have been celebrating only the harvest season’s bountiful crops without appreciating the Good Spirit of assurance, effort, perseverance and energy required of the sowing season. Figuratively, it’s the season of toiling day and night in QBO such that we be thankful and enjoy the upcoming harvest season of QBO. Let’s us build from the ground-up, grow and sustain during this sowing season. Happy Irreecha Arfaasaa!
(Advocacy4Oromia, Melbourne, May 30, 2015) The Oromo Irreecha Arfaasaa Festival, was held on May 30, 2015, for the first time in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, at Mount Dandenong.
The ceremony was celebrated at Mount Dandenong to promote the Oromo Good Spirit tradition of respect for nature and gratefulness for life. It was celebrated under the theme of “Moving Forward: Restoring the Good Spirit of Humanity,” in which it aimed to celebrate Irreecha festivals to follow our tradition and religion in society, to create public awareness where Oromo cultural and religious issues were discussed.
According to the organisers, the festival was designed to provide a better understanding of the Oromo culture, history and humanity; and to pave the way for the promotion of the Oromo culture, history and lifestyle.
The celebration of Irreechaa Arfaasaa, the National Good Spirit Day, is held yearly both to thank Waaqaa for the blessings and mercies we have received throughout the past year and to welcome the new rainy season, which is associated with hard work and challenges, but also bountiful rewards and yields at the end of the season.
The ceremony honoured the Oromo elders’ blessings and wisdom, and eventually helped preserve the Oromo heritage and strengthen the progress of humanity.