September 22, 2009

Sabboontonni Oromoo Magaala Washington DC fi Naannoo Jiraatan Irreecha 2009 Haala O'aa Ta'een Ayyaaneffatani!

Suuraalee hedduu Irreecha 2009: Washington DC as tuqii laali

Guuba & Irreecha Celebration at the Washington DC metropolitan area

The festival has also attracted diverse nationalities among whom Americans and Japanese. The Abba Mudaa- spiritual father Abba Mudaa, literally means "father" of Mudaa is a spiritual leader, a senior from the Oromo Qallu institution that bestow blessings. Mudaa (the anointing) is the ritual ceremony. It should be emphasized here that the Oromo Qallu is different from the Abyssinian 'Qaallicha' which is a fraudulent person, who resorts to witchcraft and black magic as a means of living. The Oromo Qallu is a ritual and religious expert that believes in only one God, Waaqa.

The Abba Mudaa and other elders of the Gubaa, Irreecha, Hururssaa and Okolee holidays of this year that was celebrated at Washington DC Metropolitan area are our seniors and ritual experts. Obbo Bayisa Gutama, obbo Lubee Birru, young Abdii Nuressa as well as Hadha Seena, adde Iftuu Kabeda and others have given blessings and led the entire ceremony. The third week of September- the Oromo New Year The third week into the month of September has a special place in Oromo history. It marks the end of rainy, muddy, dark and arduous work season and the beginning of New Year. In the New Year, the sun prevails over the rain, the mud dried, rivers run shallower and cleaner and the bright sunny days replace the dark and gloomy ones. The beauty of nature and the wonderful work of God are manifested by newly arriving grasses and crops; newly blossoming, colourful and fragrant flowers. The arduous work is over and the time to rest by nourishing on newly-arrived crops and vegetables such as maize, potatoes, barley and cabbage commences. Mountains, valleys, plains and plateaus are covered yellow and embellished with the new flower that appears only during this time of the year.

This yellowish flower is the symbol of the Oromo New Year and is termed Keelloo-an Oromo word for yellow. Gubaa- burning problems and evil spirit At the eve of the New Year the Gubaa ceremony takes place. It is the firework festival that is performed and meant to burn all problems and evil spirit that were around for the whole of the outgoing year. It is also the symbol that the Oromoo passes from the dark (winter) to bright season. Oromos pray to God that He may take us over to the bright New Year safely and pure. Guuba holidays are accompanied by special food that is peculiar to this holiday, known as "Qiinccee"� and "Raafuu"� traditional cuisine. The Gubaa ceremony of this year at Washington DC was an exciting and quite an eventful moment. The event began with the prayers and blessing of the Abbaa Mudaas and followed by variety, delicious and special dinner. The event of the night was culminated at an epic moment with traditional dances that have followed the Gubaa ceremony and shaken the surroundings. Irreecha- the Oromo thanksgiving festival The creator of this natural cycle, Waaqa (God) surely deserves thanks. Oromos give thanks to God because He turned the dark season into the new and bright one; Oromos thank God because He created water, air and the likes without which life is unsustainable.

The Oromo thanksgiving festival is held on the third Sunday of September and is known as Irreecha. Irreecha takes place at the respected banks of sea, lake, river, or Odaa tree. Oromos go to rivers or lakes not to worship rivers or lakes but for seeking quiet and natural scene that is suitable for attention to thank and worship God with full concentration. Furthermore, Oromos believe that green is holy, water is life and the places are peaceful where the spirit of God is found. The Irreecha annual holiday of this year at Washington DC took place at College Park on September 20, 2009 at the shore of Lake Artensia College Park MD. Oromos from the surrounding area arrived at the lake decorated with traditional Oromoo dresses that typify the Irreecha ceremony. Present were also special dignitaries including Americans and Japanese.

The Keelloo flower together with a special green grass was distributed to the participants by organizers of Irreecha. Keelloo flowers and special grasses were presented to the ceremony by obbo Lubee Biruu who cultivated it in his backyard. With the blessings and prayers from the Abbaa Mudaas, Lubee Birru, Bayisa Gutama, Abdii Nurecha, Iftuu Kabbada, Hadha Seena and others, the sermon was started. All attendants of Irreecha moved forward to the edge of the lake until they could able to touch the water with their hands. We placed part of our grasses and Keelloo at the lake to re-unite grass, flower and water and saved som! e Keelloo and Grasses for our home. After returning back from the shore of the lake people began traditional Irreecha and Gubaa dances for about 20 minutes. Hururssaa: the name recognizing or giving ceremony After Irreecha, Hururssa , another traditional and interesting ceremony took place. Beside Hammachissa, or naming new born child by Qaallu institution, some Oromoo practised public Hururssa at Irreecha ceremonies. Hururssaa is children embracing ceremony where the child is given Oromo name. Mostly parents had already chosen Oromoo name for their child, while some times the participants give proper name if the parent fail to present Oromoo name.

The Abbaa Mudaas or any respected elders embrace the children and announce the chosen name on the Hururssa ceremony asking whether anyone opposes the proposed name or not. If no opposition is noted, the name is given, blessed and legalized. This year three families have presented their infants (two girls and a boy) for Hururssa ceremony. It is unique and interesting Oromo tradition in that individuals name should be legalized ceremonially and institutionally. Okolee- the special Irreecha lunch After being exhausted with the Irreecha and Hururssa ceremony, the Washington DC Irreecha participants have converged at Oromoo Center, also known as Ibsaa Corner (named after the late Sisay Ibsaa) located at Upshur Street for the special Okolee sermon. "Qiinccee"� and "Raafuu"� are special cuisine for Gubaa, but for Okolee sermon, in addition to Qiinccee and Raafu, different types of Oromoo food and drink were also served. Preceded by the prayers and blessings of the obbo Bayiisa Gutama, Hadha Seena, and Lubee Birru, Okolee was served at Ibsaa corner. The entertainment continued up to ten AM. Kan baranaa kan bara egree!!

Dirribaa Ejere


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