Before we delve deeper into the Festivals and celebrations by the people of the Rastafari faith, let us take a look at what the Rastafari religion is all about.
It is essential in this context since many people across the globe have vague ideas about with sect.
Rastafari religion originated in the 1930s in Jamaica, and it is a Abrahamic or monotheistic religion. It originated after Haile Selassie I got coroneted to the throne of Ethiopia in the 1930s. People adhering to the Rastafari religion worship a single God whom they refer to as Jah. They consider Jah to be a form of the Holy Trinity as put forward by the Bible – a union of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
According to the Rastafari belief, the Holy Spirit or Jah lives with all humans as He gets incarnated. As such, Rastafari religion believes in the equality of all humans. This is because of the fact that they believe that the Holy Spirit lives in all human beings making them essentially one in spirit.
The coinage of the term Rastafari can be attributed to the name of Haile Selassie I by which he was known before he got coroneted. That name was Ras which was his title and Tafari which was part of his first name Tafari Makonnen. According to Amharic, the local language of Ethiopia, the word Ras literally means “Head”, while the word Tafari, which is similar sounding to Teferi, denotes a person who is respected or revered by all. The people who abide by the Rastafari faith believe that Haile Selassie I was an incarnation of God who is the Father of the Holy Trinity. Some people also refer it to be the second time advent of Jesus Christ – the King of the World.
|Printable Calendars||Desktop Calendars||Hindu Calendar|
|Muslim Calendar||Christian Calendar||Jewish Calendar|
|Bahai Calendar||Rastafari Calendar||Zoroastrian Calendar|
|Pagan Calendar||Jain Calendar||Shinto Calendar|
|Buddhist Calendar||Sikh Calendar|
|January 1st - History||Chinese New Year||Hindu New Year|
|Hmong New Year||Islamic New Year||Japanese New Year|
|Jewish New Year||Korean New Year||Thai New Year|
|Persian New Year||Tibetan New Year||Vietnamese New Year|
Rastafari beliefs stemmed out of many of the Christian beliefs and ideals. For example, Rastafari people belief in the Trinity of God, just like the Christians. They believe that there exists one God who is named Jah, and He sent his Son as His Divine Incarnation, and this Son is known as Yeshua (Jesus), and The Son then manifested Himself as a form of Divine person, who they believed to be Haile Selassie I. Although Rastafari people believe much of what has been propagated in Bible, they also believe that the message and the interpretations thereof got tainted in the ravages of time.
The Rastafari people reject all that degenerate society, which includes (but is not limited to) materialism, sensuality, oppression etc. The Rastafari ways of life also encompass the use of cannabis albeit for spiritual purposes. They refer to Ethiopia as Zion, and believe that this Zion is the original cradle of human civilization. They also believe that all human beings should get repatriated to Ethiopia, and this should be the outlook from the very onset of life. However, it may not be possible to physically migrate to Ethiopia, but even emotional oneness with the country would suffice the purpose. This is because they believe that Ethiopia is the “Promised Land”, it being the place that is “Heaven on Earth. Rastafari people derive faith, encouragement and inspiration from one another.
Here is a comprehensive list of the major Rastafari Festivals and Holidays in the year 2016 along with their significance --
- Thursday, January 7, 2016, Ethiopian Christmas Day – Rastafari people believe in the principals of Christianity. Rastafari people also find spiritual connection to the land of Ethiopia, and have been intertwined with the country’s culture right from 330 A.D. As such Rastafari people celebrate Christmas, but as per the traditional Ethiopian calendar. On this day people pray and also go meatless.
- Thursday, April 21, 2016, Grounation Day – The Rastafari people believe that this is the day when Emperor Haile Selassie I visited the country of Jamaica in the year 1966. Rastafari people equate Emperor Haile Selassie I to be the manifestation of God on Earth whose mission was to save humankind by bringing amongst them the gospels of peace and unity. As such this is a joyous occasion for the Rastafari people and they commemorate it by music, dance and prayers.
- Saturday, July 16, 2016, Ethiopian Constitution Day – This is the day when the Constitution of the land of Ethiopia was adopted by Emperor Haile Selassie in the year 1931. This is also the day that commemorates the birth of the Ethiopian Parliament where many people were appointed as deputies although the Emperor retained “Supreme Authority and Power”. This is the day on which people discuss about the history and traditions of Ethiopia, and also reflect upon the origin of the Rastafari Faith.
- Saturday, July 23, 2016, Birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie I – This is one of the most revered occasions of the Rastafari people. This is the day when in the year 1892, Emperor Haile Selassie I is believed to have been born. The Rastafari people believe that Emperor Haile Selassie I finds mention in the Bible, a holy text to which they attach much importance. They also believe that Emperor Haile Selassie I was the messenger of God, and naturally much importance is attached to his birthday.
- Wednesday, August 17, 2016, Marcus Garvey's Birthday – Marcus Garvey was a political activist who played a very important role to establish the rights of “Black” people. It is believed that Marcus Garvey was the first person who could envision the fact that there would come a Black King in the future who would get coroneted to liberate his fellow brethren. As such, Rastafari people consider Marcus Garvey to be a great thinker and visionary. So people attach much importance to his birth anniversary. It is a joyous occasion when African dancing and similar forms of merrymaking are practiced.
- Sunday, September 11, 2016, Ethiopian New Year's Day – Rastafari people all around the world considers Ethiopia to be their Spiritual Motherland. Naturally they cultivate the history and tradition of the country with much reverence. Consequently they celebrate New Year’s day as per Ethiopian tradition with much pomp and glory.
- Tuesday, November 2, 2016, Crowning of Emperor Haile Selassie I – The coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I is considered to be of vital significance by Rastafari people for they believe that Emperor Haile Selassie I took to the throne to bring peace and unity among people. They consider him to be the Messiah of God. This is a joyous occasion for them and people observe the day by reading Biblical passages and singing hymns.