Orosun festival is one of the top tourist attractions in West Africa. It is a festival held annually in the ancient city of Idanre, located in Idanre local government area of Ondo State, Nigeria. The unique thing about this festival is that it takes place on top of the hill. This hill is 3000 feet above the sea level and it is exactly where the ancient people of Idanre land used to live over 100 years ago. That is also where the history of Orosun festival had its root. On top of this hill is located Orosun hill which is the highest hill in the entire Idanre land. It is the worship of this hill that marks the Orosun festival.
Reports have it that that Orosun was a woman and one of the wives of Olofin Aremitan. Olofin left Ile-Ife and stayed at Akoko land where he met a beautiful woman called Orosun and married her at Ipetu. After some years Aremitan left for Oke-Idanre which he founded.
Orosun left Ikori with Olofin to Utaja (in Idanre). Subsequently, Orosun went to Akoko to collect her belongings so that she could return to Idanre to settle down with Olofin as his spouse. During the reign of Owa Baganju, Orosun, the beautiful lover of Olofin Aremitan returned to Ufe-Oke from Ikori her hometown to resume her relationship with Olofin Aremitan, only to find out that Olofin had passed away. Orosun remained in Ufe-Oke (which was later renamed Idanre) and eventually married Owa Baganju.
Orosun was generally loved by Idanre people owing to her love for children despite not having one herself (she had offered her only child as a human sacrifice whilst in Ile-Ife). She was known as a healer of sorts, often cooking herbs with her ‘Ikoko Aremo’ to cure children of their illnesses. At some point, envy and political intrigues set in and Orosun became the target of communal hatred. When Olofin died, she remarried several times. Orosun heard of an assassination plan and fled from the land into the forest of Idanre hills. Her assassins pursued her to her hideout and killed her. She was eventually assassinated at the foot of the highest hill in Idanre.
The people of Idanre started having problems which included strange deaths and when they consulted the oracle they were told that Orosun was unjustly killed and her spirit had to be appeased before troubles stopped befalling the land. So the people of Idanre named the highest hill at the foot of which she was killed Orosun hill and continued to worship the hill till today.
The people of Idanre decided had to appease Orosun in exchange for fertility, peace, progress and health. She is worshipped every year. The festival is performed in the month of May but sometimes in June. The 2023 edition of the festival took place on Wednesday June 14 and it was very colourful. During the Orosun festival, the villagers relocate from the present Idanre town to their pre-existing homes in Old Oke-Idanre up the hill, where they stay for the duration of the festival. Thousands of visitors and tourists also follow them up the hill on the day of the festival to witness the event.
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