On November 4th our church celebrated our founder’s (Rev. Dr. E.) eleventh anniversary of his ordination as a priest of Changó. This event is usually called an “Ocha birthday” as it marks the birth of a person’s life as a priest in Santeria and the birthdate of his or her crowning orisha. In this case, it was Chango’s birthday in our church. (It’s important to note that this is not the same as a “saint’s day” that some people celebrate where an orisha is honored on the feast day of the Catholic saint with whom it is syncretized. While some godfamilies observe this practice, we do not adhere to that practice in our church.)
As part of this celebration, we set up a traditional throne made of draped fabrics to commemorate the throne Rev. Dr. E. lived under for the seven days of his initiation. All of the orishas he received at his ordination were placed under the throne’s canopy and decorated with paños (altar cloths) and mazos (beaded shrine decorations). A plaza of fruits are placed under the throne as offerings, and are then distributed to any visitors who came to pay their respects to Changó on his birthday.