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Lagos declares Monday, August 21, work free day for public servants

The Lagos State Government has declared Monday, August 21, as work free day for all public servants in the state to commemorate this year’s Isese Day.

The Isese Day has been set aside in Lagos to celebrate the indigenous Yoruba culture and traditions as well as the preservation of the Yoruba heritage

This disclosure is contained in a circular issued by the Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, where he noted that this year’s Isese Day celebration will hold on Sunday, August 20, 2023.

Murin-Okunola in the circular further stated that the declaration of Work Free Day by Governor Sanwo-Olu is a reaffirmation of his “commitment to continue to provide necessary support to traditional institutions in the State with a view to promoting our indigenous culture and tradition while preserving our heritage”.

The circular announced that all state workers are expected to resume work at 8 am prompt on Tuesday, August 22.

What you should know

  • In a related development, the Oyo State Government had yesterday declared Monday as a maiden public holiday to celebrate Isese Day, a day celebrated annually by traditionalists across the state.
  • This followed the resolution of the Oyo State House of Assembly that earmarked August 20 for the celebration of Isese Day.
  • Governor Makinde further urged traditional worshippers in the state to use the occasion to pray for the peace, unity, and stability of the state in particular and the country in general.
  • Isese, the Yoruba word for tradition, is also used to denote different kinds of festivals held by adherents of the Yoruba traditional religion or culture in Nigeria and Cuba, Brazil, the United States, Benin, and other countries.

Other things to know about the festival include;

  • Isese Day is a regional public holiday observed by Nigerian states like Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Kwara, Edo, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Kogi states to give a sense of belonging to adherents of traditional religions.
  • It is usually celebrated on August 20 every year in Osun as a day for traditional worshipers to celebrate their deities.
  • It is a Yoruba traditional religion under the group of Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council.
  • Prayer, dance and sacrifices are made with animals like cows, goats, dogs and birds at specific venues depending on the type of god. Sacrifice to Osun is done at the river, while that of Oro is done at shrines.
  • Colour white, among other colours like red, and black is usually the colour of the attires worn by adherents to the festivals.

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