Origin of Days

Ojo is the Yoruba word for days. The religion of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria is Orisa. The word “Orisa” means “those whose heads were created more superior then others.” Each of these deities are the ministers of God (Olodumare), and the word of Almighty God. They are called Orisa (Eni ti ori sa da).

In the beginning, human beings did not have names for the days. It was Obatala (arch divinity, God of Creativity) who went to Olodumare to obtain weekdays for all the rest of Orisa. it was Orunmila who established the days, hence one of the Odus recited:

Ifa loni oni
Ifa loni ola
Ifa loni ojo mereerin Oosada saye

It is Ifa who owns today
It is Ifa who owns tomorrow
It is Ifa who owns the fourth day that Orisa made on Earth

In a paragraph of oriki of Obatala one of his daughters asked- can we know the name of the days?

Obatala says:

Take a day for week of Orisaala

Pick another day for Ogun

Make another day for Jakuta (Sango)

The remaining day is for Awo (Orunmila)

it was only four days that Obatala brought from heaven to the world with the 401 deities. Obatala already distributed the days among the other Orisa, Ogun, Sango and ifa, while he picked a day for himself. The rest of orisa therefore had to share days, e.g. The week day (Ose Ifa) is the same day of Osun. Obatala shares his day with Egungun, Ancestor spirits, Iyami Aje, and also Elegbara, etc.

Five days is the traditional calendar week of the Yoruba People. not counting the first day you have four days. Twenty nine days makes a month. that is when the moon is full. The moon spends fifteen days on earth and fifteen days in heaven.

Ojo Aje (Monday)- is the day on which money joined Orisa on earth and is known as the day of money. Yoruba people use this day to start business, and to discuss economic and social programs.

Ojo Isegun (Tuesday)- is the day of victory. This is the day all evil forces are overpowered. It is a good day to start anything that leads to a better quality of life.

Ojoru (Wednesday)- is the day problem entered the world. It is the day of confusion.

Ojobo (Thursday)- is the day on which names of the days arrived. It is a day on which Ancestors visit the family. This is why every important festival begins on Thursday– Ojobo.

Ojo eti (Friday)- is the day of postponement. It is believed that whatever people have to do on this day should be postponed or else it would fail. This is why business and journeys do not begin on this day.

Abameta (Saturday)- hias the same attributes as Ojo Eti. In order to avoid three types of negative incidents, the Yoruba don’t use Saturday to bury a person, unless the person is an elder.

Ojo Aiku (Sunday)- Ojo Ariku otherwise know as Ojo Isinmi is the day of rest, and the day Orunmila buried Imi, the mother of

Esu Odara.. On this day the people of the world requested immortality (aiku) from Olodumare. Orunmila, a close confidant of Olodumare refused to make propitiation and he was unable to bring immortality (aiku) for all inhabitants of earth; hence people had to die. Fortunately, premature death can be prevented by making sacrifice and using Ifa medicine.

1 COMMENT

  1. I am a great fan of your write ups and research but I need some explanation on these issues viz

    1. How do you explain the seven day week that you narrated above if Obatala brought only a four day week?

    You wrote: It was only four days that Obatala brought from heaven to the world with the 401 deities. Obatala already distributed the days among the other Orisa, Ogun, Sango and ifa, while he picked a day for himself. The rest of orisa therefore had to share days, e.g. The week day (Ose Ifa) is the same day of Osun, Aje and Esu. Obatala shares his day with Egungun, Ancestor spirits and Iyami Aje.

    2. Another observation is if we have a four day in one calendar month, that means we have 28 days as against your 29. You also said the Moon is shared 15/15 which makes the Moon circle to be 30 days. Please kindly rectify this anomalies. Thank you.

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