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The Yoruba calendar (Kọ́jọ́dá) is a calendar used by the Yoruba people of southwestern and north central Nigeria and southern Benin. The calendar has a year beginning on the last moon of May or first moon of June of the Gregorian calendar. The new year coincides with the Ifá festival.

The traditional Yoruba week has four days. The four days that are dedicated to the Orisa go as follow:

To reconcile with the Gregorian calendar, Yoruba people also measure time in seven days a week and four weeks a month. The four-day calendar was dedicated to the Orisas and the seven-day calendar is for doing business.

The seven days are: Ọjọ́-Àìkú (Sunday), Ọjọ́-Ajé (Monday), O̩jọ́-Ìṣẹ́gun (Tuesday), Ọjọ́rú (Wednesday), Ọjọ́bo̩ (Thursday), Ọjọ́-E̩tì (Friday) and O̩jọ́-Àbamé̩ta (Saturday).

Time (Ìgbà, àsìkò, àkókò) is measured in ìṣẹ́jú-àáyá (seconds), ìṣẹ́jú (minutes), wákàtì (hours), ọjọ́ (days), ọ̀sẹ̀ (weeks), oṣù (months) and ọdún (years).

There are 60 seconds (ọgọ́ta ìṣẹ́jú-àáyá) in 1 minute (ìṣẹ́jú kan); 60 minutes (ọgọ́ta ìṣẹ́jú) in 1 hour (wákàtì kan); 24 hours (wákàtì mẹ́rìnlélógún) in 1 day (ọjọ́ kan); 7 days (ọjọ́ méje) in 1 week (ọ̀sẹ̀ kan); 4 or 5 weeks (ọ̀sẹ̀ mẹ́rìn tàbí márùn-ún) in one month (oṣù kan); 52 weeks (ọ̀sẹ̀ méjìléláàádọ́ta), 12 months (oṣù méjìlá), and 365 days (ọjọ́ mẹ́rìndínláàádọ́rinlélọ́ọ̀ọ́dúnrún) in 1 year (ọdún kan).

Calendar examples

The Yoruba traditional calendar is called “KỌ́JỌ́DÁ” 'Kí ọjọ́ dá,' meaning: may the day be clearly foreseen.

KỌ́JỌ́DÁ 10053/ CALENDAR 2011-2012
ÒKÙDÚ 10053 / June 2011
Ọsẹ̀ 91st 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
Ọjọ́-Ṣàngọ́/Jàkúta 2 6 10 14 18 22 26 30
Ọjọ́-Ọ̀rúnmìlà/Ifá 3 7 11 15 19 23 27
Ọjọ́-Ògún 4 8 12 16 20 24 28
Ọjọ́-Ọbàtálá 1 5 9 13 17 21 25 29

The traditional Yoruba calendar (Kọ́jọ́dá) has a 4-day week and 91 weeks in a year. The Yoruba year spans from 3 June of a Gregorian calendar year to 2 June of the following year. According to the calendar developed by Remi-Niyi Alaran, the Gregorian year 2022 AD is the 10,064th year of Yoruba records of time.[1][unreliable source?] With the British colonial and European cultural invasions, came the need to reconcile with the Gregorian calendar: Yoruba people also measure time in seven days a week and 52 weeks a year.

Calendar terminologies

ỌSẸ̀ in Yoruba calendar Day in Gregorian calendar
Ọjọ́-Àìkú (Day of Immortality) Sunday
Ọjọ́-Ajé (Day of Economic Enterprise) Monday
Ọjọ́-Ìṣégun (Day of Victory) Tuesday
Ọjọ́rú (Day of Confusion & Disruption) Wednesday
Ọjọ́bọ̀ (Day of Arrival) Thursday
Ọjọ́-Ẹtì (Day of Postponement & Delay) Friday
Ọjọ́-Àbámẹ́ta (Day of the Three Suggestions) Saturday
Oṣù in Yoruba calendar Months in Gregorian calendar
Òkúdù June
Agẹmọ (Month of the Agemo Festival of the Ijebus) July
Ògún (Month of the òrìṣà Ògún and Ogun festivals) August
Ọwẹ́wẹ̀ or Owewe September
Ọ̀wàrà or Ọ̀wààrà (Month of the many Rain Showers) October
Bélú November
Ọ̀pẹ (Month of the Palm Tree) December
Ṣẹrẹ January
Èrèlé (Month of Blessings of the Home) February
Ẹrẹ́nà March
Igbe (Month of Proclamation) April
Ẹ̀bìbì (Month of the Ẹ̀bìbì festival of the Ìjẹ̀bú) May

Worship of the Òrìṣà in specific months

Ṣẹrẹ/January

Èrèlé/February

Èrèlé/Feb 21-25

Ẹrẹ́nà/March

Ẹrẹ́nà/March 12 – 28

Ẹrẹ́nà/March 15 – 19

Ẹrẹ́nà/March 21 – 24:

Igbe/April

Èbìbí/May

Òkúdù/June

Agẹmo/July

Ògún/August

Ọwẹ́wẹ̀ or Owewe/September

Ọ̀wàrà or Ọ̀wààrà/October

Belu/November

Ọ̀pẹ/December

References